Morris Area / Chokio-Alberta got contributions from everyone on the team en route to a 3-0 sweep of Eden Valley-Watkins 25-17, 25-17, 25-21 in Section 3AA-North semifinals Tuesday, Oct. 30, in Morris.
“We had a pretty balanced attack (Tuesday). Lexi Pew is our go-to hitter, so when she’s not up there or even when she is, she demands so much attention that it gives our other girls open looks,” MACA head coach Caleb Greene said of Tuesday’s playoff game.
Bailey Marty had 10 kills, Lexi Pew nine, and Kenzie Hockel eight. Jen Solvie came off the bench and recorded seven kills in the win. Liz Dietz and LaRae Kram combined for 34 assists.
There was a weary point in the third set, down 16-12, but they came back to tie the set at 18-18 then scored the next four straight and held on to secure the sweep.
“Our serve receive was struggling at times throughout the night, and I told the girls that is our strength. That’s why we have an opportunity to go far in the playoffs because we serve receive very well. Once we struggle on serve receive, we can’t do anything,” Greene said. “We did a good job of getting out of that, we started passing a little better and playing loose.”
Being able to come back into a set is a testament to the on-court leadership of senior captains Bailey Marty and Riley Decker.
“Those three are pretty important part of this team,” Greene said. “(Their leadership) has really improved a lot. At the beginning of the season, they had to be the leaders, but they weren’t really ready to be that leader. They’ve matured a lot throughout the year and realized that any action or anything they say really goes a long way with the rest of the team.”
Though she’s not a captain, MACA senior Liz Dietz is another leader on the floor this season, Greene said.
“She holds her composure together very well and has a calm demeanor about her,” Greene said. “Her presence on the court even keeps me calm as a coach. Those three (Marty, Decker and Dietz) are pretty important to the team.”
Decker had team high 16 digs, two assists and two kills. Marty dug out 15 balls in the win. Dietz also had two ace serves.
With the win, the Tigers advance to their fourth straight Section 3AA-North title game against No. 1 Paynesville at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, at Minnewaska Area High School in Glenwood.
Morris/C-A 3, EV-Watkins 0
EVW (18-10)........17 17 21
MACA (18-7)........25 25 25
No stats reported
Serving (aces): Liz Dietz 2, Kenzie Stahman 1... Set assists: LaRae Kram 18, Dietz 16, Riley Decker 2... Hitting (kills): Bailey Marty 10, Lexi Pew 9, Kenzie Hockel 8, Jen Solvie 7, Emma Berlinger 4, Sophia Carlson 2, Decker 2, Kram 2... Blocking (aces): Pew 4, Solvie 1, Kram 1... Digs (5 or more): Decker 16, Marty 15, Macey Libbesmeier 7