Until Thursday, it had been a week to forget for the St. Cloud Tech volleyball team.
There was way too much of Buffalo and its 6-foot-3 outside hitter, Kylee Zumach, a future Kansas Jayhawk, on Monday.
Then there was what the Tigers called a bad evening Tuesday in Cold Spring, where Rocori dominated, much to the delight of its large student section.
It was a different matter Thursday.
Tech put together a solid all-around effort to beat Sartell 3-1 in a Central Lakes Conference volleyball match at the Tigers’ gym.
“It felt good after a rough week,” Tech senior Kelsey Berg said. “Monday and Tuesday were not good.”
Thursday was. Tech beat the Sabres 25-14, 26-28, 26-24, 25-19 to move to 3-3 in the CLC and 3-4 overall with a match Tuesday at St. Cloud Apollo.
“We pulled through and did a lot of communicating which is what we needed to do,” Tech senior Kylie Loesch said. “Everyone was pretty positive and cheering each other on …
“We showed what we are capable of as a team tonight.”
Tech head coach Kristy Husen said she talked with her team at practice Wednesday after what she thought were a couple of less-than-thrilling performances.
“We talked a lot about confidence and trust in our teammates,” Husen said. “A lot of this job is off-court. It really makes a difference how you handle things off-court, too.”
When Tech communicates, Husen reasoned, the Tigers have their moments.
Thursday, they came with a multifaceted attack that held off a feisty Sartell squad that played well after a shaky first game.
“That’s how it always is,” Sartell head coach Ronell Uran said. “We see multiple teams in one night ….
“(There were) too many unforced errors on our part. We play well until it gets tight, then we play hesitant. You can’t do that in rally-scoring volleyball.”
The Sabres have lost nine in a row and are 1-5 in the CLC, 3-12 overall. They play Tuesday at Willmar. Through the stretch, they’ve shown good stretches of volleyball and had big games statistically from Mikayla Gessell (10 kills), Kia Grindland (10 kills, 2 blocks), Amelia Barkley (7 kills, 3 blocks), Hailey Winter (20 set assists), Erin Eikmeier (18 digs) and Abby Gessell (13 digs).
But this was a night that Tech shined.
“We are really good once we click together,” Tigers senior Cierra Washington said. “We can do a lot of good stuff.”
Loesch helped lead the way. The 5-foot-10 senior setter/hitter had nine kills, 21 set assists and six ace serves. Berg had 16 kills and 22 digs. Washington had 11 kills and 23 digs. Brooke Poepping contributed 17 set assists and Aleisha Orcrutt had 15 digs. Mariah Laudenbach had 3.5 blocks.
Overall it was a good effort after a couple of tough nights. “We’re a new team,” Loesch said.