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Season volleyball opener goes to Marshall

The Alexandria volleyball team looked to be on its way to breaking a streak of three straight losses to Marshall to open the season before the Tigers turned the tide on Tuesday night.

The Cardinals jumped out with a 25-22 win in the first game against the No. 1 ranked team in Class AA. That seemed to wake up the Tigers as they went on to control the rest of the match by jumping out early in sets and never looking back.

"The girls came out strong right away to win the first game but were unable to hold on to the energy and consistency the remainder of the match," head coach Becky Schlichting said. "Throughout the evening, the girls did some great things and there is definitely a lot to look forward to in the future."

Marshall was just a little too much in the opener. The Tigers gained an 8-3 lead in the second set before going on to a 25-18 win. The third set saw the Tigers gain a 16-3 advantage on their way to a 25-6 victory before closing out the match with a 25-17 win in the fourth.

The combination of Dani Beekman and Rachel Westby proved to be too much for Alexandria at the net. Beekman had a match-leading 16 kills, while Westby added 15 kills, five digs and two blocks.

The Cardinals were led at the net by Angela Christianson, who ended the night with eight kills and four blocks. Keely Gross and Katie Brown shared the setting duties with 16 and 12 assists, respectively. Sam Trumm had a strong night all around with five kills, eight blocks and 16 digs.

The Cardinals will try to pick up a little momentum when they take part in a tournament in Eden Prairie tomorrow, Saturday. Matches start at 9 a.m. with a field of teams from all over the metro area.

Alexandria will then return home to host its first match of the season next Tuesday. The Cardinals will welcome Willmar to town as they get the Central Lakes Conference season started.

"This group of girls is going to be an extremely strong team as the season progresses," Schlichting said. "They will be fun and exciting to watch."


Marshall 3, Alexandria 1

ALEXANDRIA INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS - Jacque Brown - 5 kills, 2 blocks; Angela Christianson - 8 kills, 4 blocks, 8 digs; Keely Gross - 1 ace, 16 assists; Katie Brown - 2 kills, 1 ace, 12 assists; Sam Trumm - 5 kills, 8 blocks, 16 digs; Nikki Swedberg - 4 kills, 1 ace, 9 digs; Kelsey Sandwick - 2 kills, 1 block; Teya Burgau - 9 digs; Chelsea Schroeder - 8 digs; Kaitlin Becker - 3 kills, 2 blocks