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|Paynesville Press - October 13, 2004|
Netters drop three straight matches
The Paynesville volleyball team came up short in three matches last week, getting swept in conference matches by St. Cloud Cathedral and Albany and losing a five-setter to Kimball in a nonconference match.|
The Dogs (7-8) played their best volleyball of the week against conference-leading Cathedral, who took sixth place at state in Class AA last year. On Thursday, Cathedral won three hard-fought sets against the Dogs: 25-18, 25-16, and 25-22.
Senior Kendra Johnson sets a ball against St. Cloud Cathedral last week. She led the Dogs in assists.
In the first set, the Crusaders used a couple of spurts to take a 22-14 lead, but the Dogs rallied to score four straight points, getting within 22-18. But Cathedral scored three straight points to win the set.
The second set was close, too, tied at 4-4, 8-8, and 13-13. The Dogs took a 16-15 lead when senior Brittany Lieser served two aces, but Cathedral responded with a side out and then got nine straight service points from senior Cassie Roden, winning 25-16.
The Crusaders took an early lead - 13-7 - in the third set, but the Dogs rallied, going on a 6-1 run to close within 14-13. After a series of side outs, Cathedral led 21-16, but the Dogs rallied again, scoring four straight points. Junior Ashley Lieser served three straight points, including an ace serve, and junior Lynn Lieser had an ace block during the run.
Leading 21-20, Cathedral scored two points, but the Dogs got a side out and another ace serve from Brittany Lieser to come within one point at 23-22. But the Crusaders scored two straight points to win the final set 25-22.
Senior Sam Moser hits at the net against St. Cloud Cathedral on Thursday.
"Cathedral has a very nice squad. We played well against them but they were more consistent than we were," said coach Dawn Knoll. "Tonight was a much better outing in terms of an overall team effort."
Senior Rachael Wendlandt led the Dogs at the net with 11 kills and six blocks. Lynn Lieser added five kills and four blocks.
The loss dropped the Dogs to 3-5 in the West Central Conference North, while Cathedral remained undefeated in conference (8-0) and improved to 14-1 overall.
This week, the Dogs hosted Eden Valley-Watkins on Monday and Melrose in a conference match on Tuesday. Next week, the Dogs will travel to Sauk Centre on Tuesday, Oct. 19, for a conference match.
Albany 3, Paynesville 0
With the win, the Huskies salvaged a split of the season series with the Dogs. Paynesville had swept Albany in September for their first victory over the Huskies since 1999.
This time, though, the Huskies prevailed in three straight sets by scores of 25-21, 25-17, and 25-20.
Knoll said the team played better than it had the night before against Kimball but still did not find the right combinations on the court.
"Our passing has not been up to par, and it hurts the entire tempo of play when the setter gets the ball outside the ten-foot line. We need to commit to making good passes," Knoll explained.
"The team is playing better, but we still need to find the right combinations on the floor," added Knoll.
Kimball 3, Paynesville 2
Paynesville won the first set, 25-16, lost a close second set, 25-21, and won the third set, 25-18, to take a 2-1 lead. But Kimball won the fourth set, 25-17, and dominated the tie-breaking fifth set, 15-5.
"The Bulldogs were unable to put all the pieces of the puzzle together," said Knoll. "Kimball played off of the energy of their crowd. We have the talent but just haven't been able to find the winning combination lately."
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