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|Paynesville Press - October 6, 2004|
Netters split five-set matches with LPGE, Sauk
The Bulldogs volleyball team split five-set matches last week with conference foes Long Prairie-Grey Eagle and Sauk Centre. The Dogs rallied to beat LPGE on the road on Thursday, Sept. 30, but allowed Sauk to rally and win at home on Tuesday, Sept. 28.|
After the Thunder won the first set on Thursday in Long Prairie, the Bulldogs won a close second set 26-24 and romped in the third set, winning 25-12. But LPGE eked out a 25-23 win in the fourth set, forcing a deciding fifth set, won by the Dogs 15-10.
"Momentum was the key to this match," said coach Dawn Knoll. "The Bulldogs were able to stifle the momentum swings that LPGE tried to get going."
Senior Brittany Lieser had nine kills and led the Dogs with 23 digs in their five-set victory against LPGE last week.
"This was a good win for us on the road," said Knoll. "The bus trip always seems shorter after a win than a loss."
Leading the Dogs at the net were senior Rachael Wendlandt (ten kills and two blocks); junior Shonda Martinson (nine kills and two blocks); senior Brittany Lieser (nine kills); and junior Lynn Lieser (six kills and five blocks).
With the season sweep of LPGE, the Dogs evened their conference record at 3-3 (surpassing their conference victory total from 2003 already, since they only had two conference wins last year). They also improved their overall record to 7-5 for 2004.
This week, the Dogs played at Kimball on Monday and at Albany on Tuesday. They will host WCC North-leading St. Cloud Cathedral on Thursday night.
Next week, the Dogs will host Eden Valley-Watkins on Monday, Oct. 11, and will host Melrose, another conference leader, on Tuesday, Oct. 12. The match against EV-W will be played at the normal time, with junior varsity starting at 6 p.m. followed by the varsity around 7:15 p.m. or so. (This match was going to be played earlier in order to have Homecoming coronation on Monday night. But the coronation will be held on Thursday, Oct. 14, instead, and the volleyball team will not play NL-S that night.)
Sauk Centre 3, Paynesville 2
"The momentum swings that occur in volleyball were very apparent tonight," said Knoll. "The team just wasn't able to execute. We need to be more consistent and play with a winning attitude."
The Dogs, who swept Sauk Centre in 2003 for their only two conference wins, used a 13-3 run in the first set to win 25-19. They then won a close second set 27-25.
But Sauk Centre took the third set 25-20 and won a close fourth set 26-24, with the Bulldogs coming a couple points short of winning the match. Then the Mainstreeters won the decisive fifth set 15-10.
Seniors Val Callenius and Rachael Wendlandt celebrate after a block against Sauk Centre on Tuesday, Sept. 28. But the Dogs lost in five sets.
Wendlandt led the Dogs' attack with 13 kills and two blocks. Martinson added eight kills and three blocks, and Lynn Lieser had six kills and four blocks.
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