NORTHROP — Cleveland’s “sister act” sailed the Class A No. 13-ranked Clippers to a three-game Valley Conference sweep over the Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman Jaguars on Thursday night.
Senior setter Greta Hahn distributed a match-best 29 assists and scored 16 points behind 21 of 22 serving, junior outside hitter Ava Hahn drilled a match-high dozen kills and freshman outside spiker Melia Sathoff produced 11 more kills to power the Clippers’ 25-15, 25-20, 25-12 sweep.
“The Hahn sisters are fun to watch play — when you’re not on the other side of the net,” said a grinning Jaguars’ coach TJ Williams.
The Clippers entered Thursday night’s league clash with only two losses in their previous 19 matches — both by 2-1 decisions to Class A No. 2-ranked Mabel-Canton and MACCRAY during the five-round Burnsville Invitational last Friday and Saturday.
“It was good to play in a (regular-season) tournament with that level of competition,” said Cleveland head coach Dave Nixon. “We got a chance to see how we matched up against some quality teams.”
Two halves of two of Cleveland’s three pairs of sisters on the varsity roster combined to trigger a quick 5-1 lead over the Jaguars in the opener.
With Greta Hahn serving and setting from the leadoff spot in the rotation, Melia Sathoff jackhammered a pair of kills before the Cleveland freshman phenom moved to the end line at 3-1.
Sathoff’s topspin jump serve reeled off three more points, with Ava Hahn entering the offensive equation with a high-bounding spike off a Jaguar overpass.
Brianna Petrowiak converted one of Keira Benck’s 10 set assists for a sideout kill for the Jaguars before the Clippers answered with a Laci Hollerich cross-court kill.
Delaney Thompson blistered three consecutive ace serves to create scoring separation at 11-4 before the Jaguars’ Londyn Bowers and Madisen Lewis delivered an offensive counter and a defensive gem near the net.
Lewis and Bowers produced two of their respective kills and blocks to keep the home team within eight before Melia Sathoff buried a Greta Hahn set down the stretch for the Game 1-clinching kill at 25-15.
Ava Hahn then supplied the vertical highlights by pounding down three spike-winners to help ignite Hollerich’s four-point service run for an 8-3 early lead in Game 2.
Brianna Petrowiak slugged a flat-footed drive off a Lindsey Diegnau set assist to claw the Jaguars within four at 13-9 and rotated Lewis to the end line.
Lewis reeled off five pivotal service points to rally the purple-and-white to a 14-13 lead, with Brianna Petrowiak notching a pair of blocks during the run.
Once again, Bowers exchanged frontline firepower with the Clippers’ Ava Hahn to keep the score either tied or within one until Melia Sathoff moved to the middle hitting spot and crushed a Greta Hahn set for a sideout at 20-19 following a Nixon timeout.
“Just had to get the players refocused,” Nixon said in reference to the short recess.
Greta Hahn rotated to the end line and served out the final six points — including three aces — of Game 2. Hollerich chipped in a kill, while Melia Sathoff clinched the five-point win with a thundering drive.
Greta Hahn literally picked up in Game 3 where she left off in Game 2 — scoring points from the service area. Hahn built a quick 4-0 lead, with Jocelyn Bartell and Hollerich delivering the frontline damage.
Londyn Bowers delivered three kills to keep the Jaguars close until 14-7 and Greta Hahn elevated her level of play again to serve the Clippers to a 10-point lead.
Ava Hahn later drilled a pair of jump-serve aces to inch Cleveland within one of a Game 3 win before a Jaguar net serve ended the match two points later.
Bowers belted eight kills to top the Jaguars, Lewis delivered five kills and five blocks, while Brianna Petrowiak contributed six kills and three rejections.
“Melia’s younger sister, Anika — who’s an eighth-grader — played most of the (junior varsity) match tonight, while another pair of sisters — Mariah McCabe and Lacey McCabe — help out as defensive specialists in the back row,” said Nixon. “There’s definitely a family theme on the team.”
Cleveland (18-2) plays host to Mankato Loyola on Tuesday night, while the Jaguars (3-15) play in the Nicollet Invite on Saturday.