Each day at practice, Chaska spends time finishing out games, replicating coming from behind on the scoreboard.
On Tuesday, the Hawks found out why Coach Sue Murphy has them work on those scenarios.
Trailing 6-0 and 9-1 to begin the third game, a 19-13 deficit as well, Chaska stormed back, scoring the final four points for a 25-15, 25-21, 26-24 win over St. Louis Park.
An Oriole squad that entered unbeaten at 8-0, wins over Hopkins and St. Michael-Albertville.
"It was a good effort. Finally the girls believed in what they can do. It's what we've been working on in the gym. The dedication, the belief, the effort all came together in the third set. We were down the entire way and found a way," Murphy said.
Chaska kept the game going in the third, winning back-to-back points to tie the match at 24. Ella Christ's tip of the block gave the Hawks its first lead at 25-24.
A long rally for match point ended on a St. Louis Park swing out-of-bounds at 26-24.
Hanna Thompson keyed the rally with three kills in a 13-5 run to end the match.
"We work on that in practice. Fighting for every point. You make them believe it's not over until someone has that 25th point. You can see it in practice, when we drill, they believe it. To see it on the court tonight, that was great," Murphy said.
Chaska dominated game one and led throughout in game two, St. Louis Park making things closer late before a serve beyond the back line gave the Hawks a 2-0 lead.
Six straight Oriole points to begin game three coupled with the loss of Chaska senior Anna Doolittle, who aggravated her right quad injury, made the Hawks regroup.
"Your chemistry goes off a little bit. It shouldn't, but it's sports, it's a game, and it does in reality. Once we figured things out, they came back together, we gelled again," Murphy said.
Chaska (6-7) has won four straight matches, including 3-0 decisions over two Metro West Conference schools from St. Louis Park.
So, what does Murphy feel has been different of late?
"Defensively, I think we're finally being more disciplined, waiting on the block. We're putting way more frustration on the opponent with our defense. And our back row is ready for what gets through," she said.
Chaska competes in a tournament in Apple Valley Sept. 20-21. The Hawks open with No. 4 Lakeville North at 6:15 p.m.
DASSEL-COKATO 3, HOLY FAMILY CATHOLIC 0
Sophia Mackey tallied 11 of Holy Family Catholic's 25 kills in a 25-17, 25-21, 25-19 road loss at Dassel-Cokato on Sept. 17.
The Fire are 0-10 on the season.
Kathryn Jans finished with 23 assists with Abby Smith and Mackey top diggers with 12 and 11, respectively.
Holy Family Catholic served well with 10 aces, including four from Lizzie Guggemos and two each from Smith and Mackey.
The Fire host Hutchinson at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19.
MINNETONKA 3, HOPKINS 0
Minnetonka notched win No. 15, a 3-0 sweep of Hopkins at home Sept. 17 to improve to 2-0 in the Lake Conference.
Game scores were 25-13, 25-20, 25-17.
Skyler Germann and Abby Stanwood led the Skipper offense with 11 and nine kills with Olivia Koeppen with 27 set assists. Koeppen also had four of the team's 13 aces.
Stanwood and Morgan Rooney led the defense with 11 digs each.
The Skippers (15-3), ranked No. 10 in Class 3A, next play at third-ranked Wayzata on Tuesday, Sept. 24.