It was likely a step forward for the Sacred Heart Eagles Monday night, as another season of title contention continues.

Powered by red-hot serving in the second set, the Eagles swept the Fertile-Beltrami Falcons 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-19) at A.J. Merth Gymnasium in East Grand Forks, moving their overall record to 14-1, 13-1 in Section 8 play.

Serving was a key breakdown in the Eagles' lone loss, a 3-2 decision at rival Stephen-Argyle just 11 days earlier. Junior Maddi Mitzel erased those memories with an aggressive serve rotation that built a 15-6 lead in the second set, putting the Falcons in a hole they could not recover from.

"Sometimes it's a blessing, and sometimes it's a curse," Eagles' head coach Emily Vonasek said in comparison of the win Monday to the loss to the Storm on September 20th, a loss that saw Sacred Heart commit 16 service errors. "Tonight, we were on, and it made a huge difference."

Mitzel also shined in her role as a hitter, registering 11 kills to co-lead the Eagles with senior Jessica Remer. Mitzel's production came at a key time in the second, with five kills in a set when Remer, a leading hitter for Sacred Heart, did not register a kill the entire stanza.

"We talked about Maddi getting around the block tonight while we were in the locker room," Vonasek said, acknowledging the matchup with the Falcons' six-foot senior middle Shelby Dunbar. "Tonight, there were times Maddi went right through the block. She had the confidence."

Dunbar finished with a match-high 15 kills, and was key in leading the Falcons back from the nine-point deficit in the second. The Falcons closed the game to 18-15, but could not turn the corner.

The Eagles are on the road tonight at Warren-Alvarado-Oslo in Section 8 play.

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