Sussner's "gigantic effort' propels five-set win
Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 said, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”
MACCRAY may have felt like that Tuesday night after they beat the Minneota Vikings 25-23 in the first game — but finally lost 3-2.
“We were flat-footed, back on our heels,” Coach Hayley Fruin said about her Vikings.
Yet, the Vikings came back and got the win. “They showed a lot of heart,” said Coach Fruin.
Power hitter Lydia Sussner came out firing with her big guns and smashed the front led by the Wolverines six-foot Piper Asche and the Vikings won, 25-20. But they weren’t done. The Sussner led Vikings won again at 25-16.
“Lydia was on a roll. They were trying to double team her, but couldn’t stop her,” said the coach. “She was hammering the ball.”
She became a force at the net the Wolverines couldn’t stop as she hammered down 32 kills and blocked the ball at the net six times.
In fact, the 5-10 junior seemed to be the one that was filled with that same kind of, “resolve” Admiral Yamamoto was talking about.
But MACCRAY put on an eight-point splurge to take a 12-5 lead in the third game. The streak finally ended when Natalee Rolbiecki blocked an Asche hit. Minneota fought back and finally tied the game at 21-21 — but MACCRAY had enough “resolve” of their own to win, 25-23.
“We were struggling, but we didn’t give in,” said the coach.
That set up the fifth and final match.
The Vikings took an 8-3 lead behind the hitting of Sussner and Lizzy Gillingham. Then Gillingham took an 11-10 lead, served two points and Minneota went on to a 15-11 win.
“I was worried about the big weekend we had (at Marshall). And they (MACCRAY) came out firing,” said Coach Fruin.
When Sussner goes out, Natalee Rolbiecki comes in — and Tuesday night, “She was aggressive at the net,” the coach said. In fact, she knocked down six kills and added the block that stopped the eight-point MACCRAY streak in the fourth game.
Yet, Sussner was the difference. Her 32 kills nearly matched the 41 kills by three MACCRAY hitters, Asche with 13; Olivia Ruiter and Carly Orwick with 10 each and Dannielle Burns with eight.
•The first game was so filled with errors and erratic floor play the two teams exchanged serves 27 times.
•Setter Morgan Kockelman teamed with Sussner at the net in the second game for a key block that propelled the Vikings to their first win. Sussner ended all doubt when she slammed a kill on the court to tie the match at one game apiece.
•Solid serving by Ellie Pesch and Kockelman helped the Vikings built a big lead in game three. A block at the net by Kockelman and another emphatic game-winning kill by Sussner settled the issue.
•After MACCRAY’s eight-point run in the fourth game, Sussner went wild and smashed four straight kills as Abby Hennen served five straight points. Then Sussner came right back with three more kills and a block.
Minneota 23 25 25 23 15
MACCRAY 25 20 16 25 11
DIGS: Minneota-Abby Hennen 31, Ellie Pesch 15, Morgan Hennen 18. MACCRAY-Sydney Schwitters 12, Ellie Thein 27, Dannielle Burns 17, Kate Hultgren 10, Carly Orwick 8, Olivia Ruiter 20.
KILLS: Minneota-Lizzy Gillingham 5, Lydia Sussner 32, Natalee Rolbiecki 6, Sydney Larson 3, Jenny Krog 2. MACCRAY-Thein 8, Burns 10, Orwick 5, Olivia Ruiter 10, Piper Asche 13.
SET ASSISTS: Minneota-Morgan Kockelman 43. MACCRAY-Schwitters 39.
SERVING: (No., good, aces): Minneota-Abby Hennen 30-29-0; Ellie Pesch 24-24-1; Morgan Hennen 19-19-3. MACCRAY-(Serving aces) Schwitters 4, Burns 5, Orwick 2, Piper Asche 3.
BLOCKS (for points) Minneota-Sussner 4, Rolbiecki 1. MACCRAY Orwick 1, Asche 1, Schwitters 2, Thein 1, Burns 2.