Saints finish 2nd in TIC East

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Tanyon Schutjer sets up Gracie Urbatsch during Tuesday night’s Pink Out game against Crestwood on Monday night in St. Ansgar. EJ Photos/ Colby Fossey
The St. Ansgar Saints volleyball team wrapped up their regular season on Tuesday night in Riceville. The Saints ended their season on a high note, taking down the Wildcats with ease, 3-0.
St. Ansgar had a very successful regular season. They finished the year with a .500 record, but weekend tournaments counted for a handful of those losses.
The Saints finished 8-3 on weeknights during the course of the regular season. Overall, the Saints finished in 2nd place in the TIC East, finishing with a 7-1 record in TIC matches only,  a big accomplishment for the Saints!
“We were happy with our conference finish, as it met one of our goals for this season,” said head coach Tyler Johnson. “We would have liked to have done better on Saturdays, and that would have really helped our overall record. There are a couple of weeknight matches we would probably like to do over, but overall, we still finished with that 8-3 record on weeknights.”
Hali Anderson goes for a dig. EJ Photo/Colby Fossey
St. Ansgar wrapped their season with two games this week. On Monday night, the Saints hosted their final home game of the year, hosting Crestwood during St. Ansgar’s Pink Out Night. The Saints battled, but fell in three sets with scores of 19-25, 20-25, and 19-25.
Hali Anderson gets one of her 11 digs against Crestwood on Monday night. The Saints wrapped their regular season the next night against Riceville and finished in second place in the TIC East Standings. Ej Photo/Colby Fossey
St. Ansgar’s last game of the season in Riceville had the Saints ending the season on the right note. They were able to make quick work of Riceville, winning 3-0 with scores of 25-11, 25-18 and 25-17. Brooklyn Hackbart led the Saints with 13 kills and 5 digs in the win. Jadyn Anderson added 12 digs and 8 kills and Tanyon Schutjer set up her team with 24 assists throughout the night.
Now that the regular season is over, the Saints shift their focus to the first round of the Class 2A, Region 6 tournament. St. Ansgar is matched up with the Central Springs Panthers, who the Saints opened up the season against this year, with the Saints winning an exciting series 3-2. St. Ansgar did match up with them again during a weekend tournament in Forest City, but the Saints fell 2-0 that time around.
“For Tuesday night we have a lot to clean up,” said Johnson. “A main focus for us really has to be cutting down on unforced errors. Our win against them in the first match of the season really means nothing now, as both of us are hopefully different (better) teams now than we were then. Many of our losses in sets throughout the season have been self inflicted due to unforced errors, and this will be an opportunity for us to show if we have grown.”
With the two teams splitting the matches this season, the Saints will be focusing on making the adjustments they feel is necessary to come out on top on Tuesday night.
“Our main focus will be in making some minor tweaks here and there to try and help up be more successful,” said Johnson. “We really want to take a look at some tape and focus on executing a game plan, but also really cleaning up a lot of the ball control and choices that we make on our side of the net. They tend to be a team that doesn’t make a huge amount of errors, and doesn’t beat themselves, so we really need to focus on finding ways to toe the line between knowing when to be aggressive and when to keep the ball in play.”
The Class 2A Region 6 tournament is going to be tough one for any team, and when the teams face off against each other, they will make each other better by the end.
“Overall our regional draw is kind of running the gauntlet this year, as if we make it past a good Central Springs squad, we would have to once again travel to Lake Mills, with perennial power/state champion Dike New Hartford waiting for the winner,” said Johnson. “I think our kids have the desire to get those opportunities, we just have to make sure that we do our best to execute on the court.”
The Saints will face the Panthers on Tuesday, October 16 in the Central Springs gym, with the first serve starting at 7:00 pm. Be sure to go cheer on your Saints in Manly on Tuesday night!

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