TECUMSEH – Elmwood-Murdock volleyball athletes sent their first serves of 2019 flying over the net in Tecumseh on Thursday night.

The Knights squared off with conference opponents Yutan and Johnson County Central in a triangular. Yutan edged E-M 21-25, 25-14, 25-23 and Elmwood-Murdock dominated JCC 25-11, 25-17. Johnson County Central defeated Yutan 25-21, 25-19 in the evening’s other match.

Yutan 2, Elmwood-Murdock 1

The Chieftains used strong serving to rally past the Knights. Yutan finished the match 59-of-65 from the service line and carded 14 aces. Heidi Krajicek led the team in the department with four aces. Allison Frye and Haley Bedlan both helped Yutan’s offense with seven kills apiece.

Elmwood-Murdock almost erased a major deficit in the third game. Brenna Schmidt spearheaded an E-M scoring spree that cut Yutan’s lead from 24-18 to 24-23. The Chieftains weathered a rally on the final point to win.

Schmidt went 14-of-14 on her attacks and had nine kills and a .643 hitting percentage. She also went 11-of-11 serving with two aces and made four blocks.

Lauren Justesen helped the Knights with a 12-of-12 serving performance with two aces and nine service points. She added six kills, one block, 12 digs and 14 serve receptions. Sydney Anderson made 12 serve receptions and four digs and went 11-of-11 serving with two aces, and Chloe Hosier pocketed 17 assists, one ace, five digs and three blocks.

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Paetyn Florell posted three kills, six digs and one assist and Katelyn Vogler tallied three digs, one assist and 10 serve receptions. Nicole Wenzel made one kill, three digs and seven serve receptions and Bailey Frahm had one dig and three serve receptions. Alyssa Closner and Lexi Bacon both saw court time for the team.

Elmwood-Murdock 2, Johnson County Central 0

The Knights kept JCC from collecting any type of home-court advantage in the nightcap. The team posted a .306 hitting percentage in the match.

Elmwood-Murdock turned a 9-6 lead into a 20-9 advantage with several big plays in game one. Justesen slammed a pair of kills in the sequence and Anderson and Florell posted a kill and ace block. The team created game point after Anderson made a diving save during a rally that ended with a Schmidt kill. JCC was unable to return Wenzel’s serve on the next point.

JCC stayed within 12-10 in game two before Elmwood-Murdock pulled away. Kills from Wenzel and Schmidt helped E-M create a 17-13 lead, and Hosier carded an ace to make it 23-17. Elmwood-Murdock won the final two points to walk away with the victory.

Justesen produced six kills, nine digs, three assists, four serve receptions and one ace. Schmidt collected eight kills and Hosier tallied 17 assists, three digs and one ace. Wenzel gave the Knights a boost with four kills, three aces, three digs and three serve receptions.

Anderson made two kills, four digs, two serve receptions and one assist. Florell had one kill and two aces, Vogler posted three digs and three serve reception and Frahm made one serve reception. Abby Petersen added one ace for the squad.

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