Tigers edge Cardinals in tight four-set match
its own to get within 12-11, at which the teams started trading points. They traded the next 12 points and the Cards led 19-17 before the Tigers used a 4-0 run to take a 21-19 lead. After swapping the next few scores, Grinnell had game point at 24-22. But two Bleeker kills and a push from senior Katelyn Camp gave Newton its own game point at 25-24. The Tigers didn’t flinch, tying the game three more times before going ahead 28-27 with a push, and they won it as a Bleeker push landed just long.
Game two was close throughout until Grinnell pulled away right at the end. Newton led 8-7 before the Tigers used a 7-2 run to take control at 13-9. That lead eventually became 18-13 before the Cardinals had a quick 3-0 run with a kill from junior Ventling and an ace from Bleeker to pull within 18-16. But Newton would get no closer. Grinnell led 21-18 before ending the game on a 4-0 run to take a 2-0 overall lead.
Momentum swung back-and-forth in the first half of game three. Grinnell got out to a 5-0 lead, and then Newton tied it at 5. The Tigers used another 5-0 run to go up 11-6, at which point it seemed the Cardinals lost their fire. But Florke called a timeout to regroup, and it worked. Newton responded with a 7-0 run that included three kills from Bleeker and two from Ventling to take a 13-11 lead. Newton was still in good shape up 16-13 before Grinnell went on a 5-1 run to go ahead 18-17. But the Cardinals weren’t ready to go home yet and closed strong. They went up 19-18 and then ended game three on a 6-0 run that included two-straight Bleeker kills.
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