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Paynesville Press - October 29, 2003

Dogs upset Cats in subsections

By Michael Jacobson

With their season one point from being finished, the Paynesville girls' volleyball team rallied to score five consecutive points and upset New London-Spicer in the first round of the subsection playoffs last week.

The Bulldogs, seeded sixth in Subsection 17, trailed the third-seeded Wildcats 14-11 in the decisive fifth set on Friday at NL-S, but the Dogs got a sideout and four consecutive service points to win the set 16-14 and the match three games to two.

Block the hit "We played well as a team," said coach Dawn Knoll. "Everybody contributed to the overall performance of the team. The entire team was determined to play every point to the very end and put out the effort needed to do so."

Senior Jessie Virant and junior Rachael Wendlandt each had an ace block during the Dogs' winning run, and Wendlandt had the kill on the game-winning point.

Juniors Rachael Wendlandt (left) and Brittany Lieser (right) reach for a block againts NL-S on Friday night. The Bulldogs' attackers combined for 45 kills in the match, with Lieser having nine and Wendlandt seven.

They were part of a strong hitting attack for the Bulldogs. As a team, the Dogs had 45 kills, 13 from senior Amanda Glenz, nine each from Virant and junior Brittany Lieser, and seven each from Wendlandt and sophomore Lynn Lieser. Glenz and Virant also combined for 20 ace blocks.

The Bulldogs, who also beat the Wildcats in five sets in September, started strongly, winning the first set 25-21. The Dogs trailed 21-20 but got a sideout, and then junior Kendra Johnson served four straight points to clinch the win.

The Bulldogs could have taken the second set, too, leading 23-22, but committing three errors in the next nine points as the Wildcats evened the match at a game apiece.

NL-S jumped to an early 11-3 lead and led throughout the third set, winning 25-16. But the Bulldogs rallied in the fourth set. With that game tied 21-21, the Dogs won four of the next five points to win 25-22, forcing the decisive fifth set, which the Bulldogs also rallied to win.

Setting the ball "The digging and blocking that we did were better than we have displayed most of the season," added Knoll. "Our serving was a bit shaky and needs to improve before our next match."

Johnson was perfect in 25 service attempts and also was 92/93 in set attempts, leading to 22 ace hits.

Junior Kendra Johnson makes a set against the Wildcats. Johnson was 92/93 setting and a perfect 25/25 serving in the Dogs' win.

With the victory, the Dogs (9-11) advanced to the subsection semifinals against second-seeded BBE on Tuesday. BBE beat the Dogs in four sets in Paynesville's season opener in August.

BBE also beat the Dogs last year in the subsection semifinals, outlasting the Bulldogs in a five-set match.

The Bulldogs' match against BBE was scheduled for Osakis but was moved to New London-Spicer.

If the Bulldogs win on Tuesday, they will advance to the subsection finals on Thursday, Oct. 30, against either #1 Albany or #4 Melrose. If Albany wins, the finals will be held in Melrose. If Melrose wins, the finals will be held in Long Prairie. The finals start at 7 p.m.

Paynesville--25 26 16 25 16
NL-S--21 28 25 22 14

Individual Results
Hitting: Amanda Glenz 41/46 - 13A; Lynn Lieser 34/37 - 7A; Brittany Lieser 19/23 - 9A; Rachael Wendlandt 23/27 - 7A; Jessica Virant 15/17 - 9A;
Serving: Kendra Johnson 25/25 - 1A; Lieser 18/21 - 2A; Kayla Mackedanz 12/15;
Blocks: Glenz - 12A; Virant - 8A;
Assists: Johnson 92/93 - 22A; Amy Roberg 72/75 - 18A.

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