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|Paynesville Press - September 10, 2003|
Dogs drop two close volleyball matches
The Bulldogs volleyball team seemed to be on their way to their first victory of the year, leading ACGC two games to one and 7-2 in the fourth game, but the Falcons rallied to win that set and kept the momentum to win the decisive fifth game, too.|
After dropping the first game, the Bulldogs won a close second game 26-24. The game was tied at 18-18, again at 21-21, again at 22-22, and again at 24-24. The Dogs had taken a 24-22 lead, but ACGC fought off two game points. The Dogs won the next two points to win the game.
Jessie Virant and Amanda Glenz go up for a block.
The Bulldogs won the second set with a late run, too. Tied at 19-19, the Bulldogs scored six straight points behind the serves of senior Amy Roberg to win that game 25-19 and take a 2-1 lead in the match.
Junior Brittany Lieser and senior Amanda Glenz had back-to-back kills during that winning run.
In the fourth game, ACGC scored the first two points, but Paynesville scored the next seven to take the lead and appeared to be on their way to the match victory. But, after leading 10-5, the Bulldogs lost 17 of the next 20 points, as ACGC rallied to take a 22-13 lead, with Paynesville losing the game 25-17.
ACGC kept the momentum in the decisive fifth game, scoring the first seven points. Trailing 14-3, the Dogs scored five points with Lieser serving, but ACGC finally got a sideout to score the winning point and claim a nonconference victory.
(This year, high school volleyball is using rally scoring, with every play - whether serving or receiving - worth a point. Games are to 25 points; 15 points in the fifth game.)
"The team played well but didn't defend against the tips and short serves that ACGC was putting up throughout the match," said coach Dawn Knoll. "We need to remember the fundamental skills (passing) need to be done correctly to get a solid attack going."
Glenz and junior Rachael Wendlandt led the Dogs with 13 kills and nine kills respectively. Senior Jessie Virant had five ace blocks.
This week, the Bulldogs played at NL-S on Monday. They will play at Albany on Thursday, and they will play at the Minnewaska Tourney on Saturday, starting at 9 a.m. Next week, the Bulldogs host St. Cloud Cathedral on Tuesday, Sept. 16.
The Bulldogs played four close sets against Long Prairie-Grey Eagle on Thursday, dropping the final three sets and losing their first conference match of the season.
The Dogs won the first set 25-22, but then lost three straight - 25-23, 27-25, and 28-26 - with two of the games going past 25, with LPGE winning by two points each time.
The team, according to Knoll, "played well throughout the match but made mental mistakes at critical times."
With four close games, said Knoll, "The atmosphere of the gym was very much like a playoff match. Both teams attacked and played defense well. The scores were indicators of how close the match was."
Paynesville had a chance with the serve to win the fourth set but served the ball out of bounds, giving a point and the serve to LPGE. "It just goes to show how important every point is in the match," said Knoll, refering to rally scoring, used for the first time this year in high school volleyball in Minnesota.
"As a team we need to learn how to finish each and every point," added Knoll. "The ability to put away the game is essential. The team still needs to learn to play to win and attack the ball rather than waiting for the opponents to make the mistakes."
With this loss, the Bulldogs were 0-1 in the West Central Conference North and 0-3 overall for the season.
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