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After falling behind, Bloomington Jefferson rallies in three straight to upend St. Louis Park

By Luke Hanlon, SportsEngine, 09/19/19, 6:00PM CDT


Alicia Wendler, who led the Jaguars in assists and digs, used positivity to stir up her teammates.

Bloomington Jefferson setter Alicia Wendler stretched to keep a ball in play during the Jaguars' five-set victory at St. Louis Park. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine

Staring at a two-set deficit can almost be a death sentence in a best-of-five volleyball match.

On Thursday, however, that 0-2 hole didn’t destroy Bloomington Jefferson, which dug itself out to win three straight and defeat St. Louis Park 27-25, 25-15, 29-27, 27-25 and 15-9. 

“I know that my girls are extremely, extremely hard working and they don’t give up easily,” Bloomington Jefferson coach Crystal Dohlman said. “We went down 0-2 and, hey, they rallied back. We changed a few things, tried a few things and I guessed it worked for us.”

Bloomington Jefferson freshman Olivia Opstad (12) put a shot over St. Louis Park defenders Raegan Alexander (14) and Faith Johnson (4). Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine

First report

Bloomington Jefferson dug itself out of an two-set hole to beat St. Louis Park 27-25, 25-15, 29-27, 27-25 and 15-9 on the road Thursday night.

While Jefferson (11-6, 2-0) got big performances from the whole team, Alicia Wender stood out for her overall play, finishing with 18 assists and 10 digs. Cassie Sieling led the attack for the Jaguars with a team-high 17 kills. 

St. Louis Park (8-2, 1-2) seemed poised for an easy victory, taking the first 27-25 and the second 25-15, with the connection between the Orioles’ Makaila Winward and Hannah Howell appearing unstoppable. Winward finished the match with 42 assists, assisting almost every one of Howell’s 21 kills. 

But the Jaguars regrouped for the third set. After trading points, the Jaguars won the third set 29-27 and took the momentum away from the Orioles. 

Jefferson started hot in the fourth set and jumped out to an 8-4 lead. After a St. Louis Park run, Jefferson won 27-25. 

The Jaguars weren’t going to be denied from there, winning the fifth set 15-9 for the comeback.

St. Louis Park's Hannah Howell tipped the ball over the net and Bloomington Jefferson's Cassie Sieling. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine

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