By: Jared Hines
After previous road games to Cambridge-Isanti and North Branch earlier this season, a quick jaunt to Big Lake was nothing for the Monticello Volleyball team as the girls looked to keep their undefeated streak alive against the Hornets on Oct. 29.
The first set began with both teams coming out extremely even. After 12 points, it was tied 6-6, and shortly after, Big Lake took a 10-8 lead. From there, it was all Monticello. The girls settled down and went on a 15-0 run, ultimately winning the first set 25-11.
In the second set, the Magic began slow, allowing the Hornets to get out to a 10-5 lead. After a timeout by Monticello to regroup themselves, the Hornets kept pushing, scoring six of the next eight points. The Magic fought back late in the second set but the Hornets ultimately won 25-14. It was just the second set the Magic had dropped all season.
Before set No. 3, the Magic coaches brought the girls together and talked to them about getting back to the basics. The rotation looked slightly different with Junior Hally Holker sitting out with an injury, forcing the Magic to have to adapt. The two teams went back and forth in the set, trading many of the first 25 points. After the two teams were within one point at 18-17, the Magic ended the set with a run, ultimately winning 25-17.
The momentum in their favor, the Magic girls came out strong in the fourth set, beginning with four straight points before the Hornets got on the board. From there, the Magic went to take a 12-8 lead before the Hornets answered with three straight points of their own. With the Magic leading 20-17, the two teams traded points back and forth until the Magic were just two points away from the match point. The Hornets fought back with five straight points, taking the fourth set 25-23.
In the fifth and final set, the Hornets started with the serve but the Magic took the first point. Maddy Huschka started serving for the Magic but it lasted just once as the Hornets took the serve back tied 1-1. Hornets won point No. 3 of the set before the Magic answered right back. Samantha Cotter took the serve for the Magic as the team took a 3-2 lead. Cotter then served an ace to make it 4-2 before the Hornets scored to make it 4-3. On the ensuing serve, the Hornets went into the net, giving the serve to Natalie Emmerich. On that point, the Hornets took the point, making it 5-4 Magic, a true back and forth set early on. Wetter slammed home a point for the Magic and then took the serve, leading 6-4. The Hornets scored the next six points, taking a 10-6 lead before the Magic finally got the serve back. Brooke Bauer took the serve for the Magic, scoring the first point as the Magic fought back. On her second serve, Cotter lofted it right over the blocker’s hands, bringing the deficit within one as the Hornets took a timeout. After the timeout, the Magic tied it 10-10 before the Hornets slammed their 11th point of the set home. The Magic got the serve back down 12-11 as Mya Brion began serving for the Magic. Bauer set one up perfectly for Cotter to tie it 12-12 and on the next point, the ball narrowly went out on a Hornets spike, giving the Magic a 13-12 lead. On the next point, Bauer set up Emmerich for point No. 14, just one away from victory as the Hornets took a timeout. Out of the timeout, the Hornets narrowed the lead to 14-13 before sending one of bounds for the final point.
The Magic are now 5-0 on the season and have only dropped three sets in their five matches. The girls are back on the road on Nov. 2 vs. Princeton before welcoming the Chisago Lakes Wildcats to Monticello on Nov. 5. Both games are at 7 p.m.