St. Edmond sweeps on an evening of celebration

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Kacey Kruthoff of St. Edmond makes a diving save against Eagle Grove on Monday in the Gael gym. For more photos, please visit CU.messengernews.net

Sports around the state have been limited due to the novel coronavirus.

The St. Edmond volleyball team nearly found that out first-hand here Monday night after the scheduled officials for their match with Eagle Grove had to cancel because of COVID-19 concerns.

However, a pair of late-minute replacements were found and the Gaels went on to honor their seniors with a sweep of the Eagles.

Scores were 25-10, 25-21 and 25-11.

Prior to the start of the night, St. Edmond (3-1 overall) recognized seniors Sydney Engels, Kacey Kruthoff and Leah Neverman. The trio shined bright on the court, recording a combined 21 kills and six total blocks.

“It’s been so hard dealing with everything involving COVID this year, and it was so tough hearing that our officials could not make it,” SEHS head coach Dee Huss said. “Thankfully, we had a couple of local officials that were able to come over and do our match. I am just so grateful that it worked out, we were able to honor our seniors and get a win.”

Kruthoff and Neverman each had eight kills, with Engels adding five. Neverman had three blocks, Kruthoff two and Engels one.

“Gael volleyball has made a huge impact on my life that I didn’t know could ever happen,” Kruthoff said. “It has brought me closer to people that I didn’t expect to even meet, and it has also just developed me as a person. I have so much fun playing with everyone on the team and it has really just pushed me to develop a love for the sport.”

Aleah Anderson, a junior, added four kills, classmate Kierstin Clark had five aces and 24 assists, and Mya McClain contributed seven digs.

“We had a week off and we really used that to work on the little things,” Huss said. “We put some plays in and I thought in that first set, we really played well. We had some mistakes in the second, but we were able to regroup and close it out in the third.”

For the Eagles (0-12), sophomore Alexa Jeske recorded six kills and classmate Braxton Steil added three with a block.

St. Edmond has won each of the past 15 meetings between the two former North Central Conference rivals, including seven consecutive sweeps. Eagle Grove has now lost 50 consecutive matches.

Kruthoff now has 115 career kills and 123 blocks over the past three seasons. Neverman has recorded 107 kills, 92 blocks and eight aces, and Engels has 101 career kills and 68 blocks.

“I love my fellow seniors so much and I wouldn’t want to play with anyone else my senior year,” Kruthoff said. “They are both so talented and they have made this season so much fun.”

After making it through the softball season this past summer, Kruthoff was hopeful that fall sports would be able to be played.

“I am so glad we get to have this year,” she said. “Softball raised my hopes for volleyball, but it was still very exciting when we found out we would get to play.”

St. Edmond returns to league action on Thursday when they host Webster City. Eagle Grove is also back competing that night at home vs. Clarion-Goldfield/Dows.

The Gaels won the junior varsity match, 21-14 and 21-8; Eagle Grove claimed the freshman contest, 21-14, 21-19.


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