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Paynesville Press - October 25, 2006

Netter get first win,
take seventh at tourney

By Michael Jacobson

The Bulldogs volleyball rallied in the decisive third set to beat Foley and take seventh place at the Sartell Tournament on Thursday with their first win of the season.

volleyball dig The eight-term varsity tourney featured pool play against three other teams and then seventh-, fifth-, third-, and first-place matches. Pool-play matches were two sets each, with the final-round matches going to a decisive third game if needed.

After splitting the first two games, the Dogs trailed 14-12 in the final game after a sideout with junior Kayla Lieser getting ready to serve. She served four straight points as the Dogs rallied to win the set 16-14 and their first match of the year.

Sophomore Kelli Flannigan - playing as the libero - led the Dogs with 29 digs and three ace serves against Minnewaska on Tuesday, Oct. 17.

"Game 3 was a dog fight," said coach Dawn Knoll. "The Bulldogs were behind for most of the game but fought back. Kayla Lieser went to the service line with the score 12-14 in favor of Foley and knew that she had to serve a series of points or the match would be over. She was able to serve four points in a row, and our defense picked up everything that came across the net."

"It was very good to get a win," added Knoll. "Foley will be joining our conference next season."

The Dogs won the first game against Foley 25-12 - firing on all cylinders, according to Knoll - but then dropped the second set 25-16, with Foley playing more consistently and the Dogs playing tentatively, according to Knoll.

"This was our first win of the season," said Knoll, "and the team worked hard to get it."

Earlier, in pool play, the Dogs lost to Chisago Lakes (25-15 and 25-17), to St. Cloud Cathedral (25-15 and 25-17), and to Southwest Christian from Chaska (25-11 and 25-17).

Cathedral, the champion of the West Central Conference North, remained undefeated by winning the tourney title.

The Dogs played a 6-2 (with both Kayla Lieser and junior Chelsey Hansen setting) in the tournament and adjusted well, said Knoll, but Cathedral, Chisago Lakes, and Southwest Christian all had too much firepower for the Dogs.

Prior to beating Foley, the Dogs probably played their best at the tourney against Cathedral, according to Knoll.

This week, the Dogs will start the subsection playoffs. The Dogs (1-21) were seeded ninth and will play a play-in game at LPGE (the eighth seed) on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. If the Dogs win, they will face top-seeded Sauk Centre in the subsection quarterfinals in Sauk Centre on Friday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m.

The subsection semifinals will be hosted in Paynesville on Tuesday, Oct. 31, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Pool Play
Paynesville--15 17
Chisago Lakes--25 25

Paynesville--15 17
St. Cloud Cathedral--25 25

Paynesville--11 17
SW Christian (Chaska)--25 25

Seventh Place
Paynesville--25 16 16
Foley--12 25 14

Minnewaska 3, Paynesville 1
The Bulldogs won the first set at Minnewaska on Tuesday, Oct. 24, but the Lakers rallied to win the next three sets to claim the match in the West Central Conference North finale for the Dogs.

The Dogs - who played their closest conference match of the season against Minnewaska in September, losing in five sets - won the first set in extra points 27-25 last week. But the Lakers won the next three sets, with the Dogs' point total decreasing each game: 21, 19, and 10.

"We played well as a team but had to make some adjustments because of illness," said coach Dawn Knoll. "(Sophomore) Kelli Flannigan stepped it up a notch and played a great game as libero and her serving was excellent. The overall play of the girls was good, but Minnewaska was able to score key points throughout the match."

The Dogs finished their conference season - which now comprises all their regular-season matches save for two tournaments - winless (0-14). The conference is tough; noted Knoll, "There is no easy night."

Flannigan led the Dogs with 29 digs and three ace serves. Senior Kristin Lang added seven kills and two ace serves, senior Chelsey Kalkbrenner had seven kills and three blocks, junior Laura Schaefer had six kills and one block, and senior Amanda Lieser added four kills and two ace serves.

Paynesville--27 21 19 10
Minnewaska--25 25 25 25

Individual Statistics
Hitting: Kristin Lang 29/34 - 7A; Laura Schaefer 26/37 - 6A; Anna Kotten 22/26 - 3A; Chelsey Kalkbrenner 20/27 - 7A; Amanda Lieser 10/15 - 4A; Team 111/143 - 27A;
Serving: Kelli Flannigan 15/16 - 3A; Lang 13/14 - 2A; Amanda Lieser 12/13 - 2A; Schaefer 12/14 - 1A; Chelsey Hansen 8/8; Team 60/65 - 8A;
Blocks: Kalkbrenner 3; Schaefer 1;
Assists: Hansen 133/140 - 27A; Team 133/140 - 27A;
Digs: Flannigan 29; Schaefer 25; Hansen 20; Lieser 16; Kate Olson 10; Team 116.

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