The Dell Rapids St Mary Cardinal volleyball team played in front of a home crowd to start the 2021 season on Thursday, August 26th. The Cardinals are coming off a 10-9 season in 2020 losing to Chester in the Region 4B tournament in the SoDak 16 qualifying match.
St Mary returns two seniors from last year’s team, Courtney Brown and Addy Gilbert. Head coach Sandra Heinitz said the team returns Ella Griffin, Maya Heinitz, Josie Baumberger, Whitney Warwick, and Jaycee Tebay as key players. She also mentioned that new comers Brianna Lindeman, Katie Scherff, Madala Hanson, and Brianna Griffin will be players to watch for the Cardinals.
“This season I am excited to see our team continue to work hard and improve and to build upon our finish from last season. Last year was our first winning season in quite some time at St Mary. I hope to see our players continue to work together as a team, have great effort and attitude, and to compete every time we step out on the court. I am excited to see what this team can accomplish,” said Coach Heinitz.
The Cardinals showed off the 2021 team with a win over the Alcester-Hudson Cubs in four sets. They won by scores of 21-25, 25-17, 25-17, and 25-23.
St Mary fell behind early in the first set and found themselves trailing 16-8. They started to find their groove and picked up some momentum, tying the match 19-19. The Cubs were able to hold off the complete comeback by the Cardinals and win the first set 25-21.
But the momentum the Cardinals gained in the first set carried over throughout the rest of the match. St Mary jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the second set, and they were able to cruise from there for the 25-17 win. The third set started the same way as the second set. St Mary got out to a quick lead early and again took at 25-17 win. The two teams battled back and forth throughout the fourth set as neither team was able to get a lead of more than three points. The Cardinals put together the late rally to take the fourth set 25-23 and win the match.
Brown finished the night with 16 kills, eight digs and four ace serves. M. Heinitz added 10 kills, eight ace serves, and six digs. E. Grifin had four kills, eight set assists, six ace serves, and four digs. Lindeman had 13 set assists, five digs, three kills, two ace serves, and a block. Gilbert finished with three kills, two digs, and two ace serves. Hanson added eight set assists, and Josie Baumberger had eight digs.
The Cardinals (1-0) will play in the Estelline Tournament on Saturday, August 28th.