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Sports roundup from Tuesday, October 15

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CROSS COUNTRY (CLC CHAMPIONSHIP)

The Alexandria boys cross country team saved its best race of the season for an important meet as the Cardinals won a CLC championship with a one-point win over Willmar on Tuesday. The Alexandria girls were third as a team behind a first-place finish from Megan Hasz.

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The final gap between Alexandria and Willmar came down to less than two seconds on the boys' side. Alexandria finished with 50 points, while Willmar had 51 and Rocori 94 to round out the top three teams.

Alexandria got three top-10 finishes to lead the way to the team title. Aaron Runge was back after missing the Meet of Champions and showed no signs of rust with a six-place finish in 16:51.1. Trent Piepenburg was seventh (17:06) and Colton Sailor finished 10th 17:20.6). Brandon Jerde was 12th (17:22) and Austin Thom 15th (17:27.3) to round out the top five runners for Alexandria. All five earned All-CLC honors, while Jimmy Pfeffer was honorable mention with a 16th-place finish (17:32.4). Wesley Graves rounded out the Alex runners with a 34th-place finish in 18:41.5.

"This meet was a tremendous confidence builder," head coach Mark Nelsen said. "The determination and focus of our boys varsity was apparent from the moment the race started."

Megan and Bethany Hasz continue to set a torrid pace with first and second-place finishes, respectively. Both of them did it in career-best times on a 4K course as Megan finished in 13:52.4 and Bethany was right behind in 13:53.3. Ellie Hurlen was 20th, Kiyana Miller 23rd and Karly Betterman 24th, Julia Sieling 25th and Megan Shulstad 43rd to round out the Cardinal runners. Miller took 28 seconds off her season-best time to finish in 16:19.1.

Willmar won the team title on the girls' side with 32 points and Sartell was second with 62. Alexandria had a team total of 70 points.

GIRLS' SOCCER (8A SEMIFINALS)

Sartell-St. Stephen 3, Alexandria 2

The Alexandria girls’ soccer team cruised to a 2-0 lead on Tuesday at Lincoln Field in the Section 8A semifinals, but three second-half goals by Sartell-St. Stephen ended the Cardinals' season.

Anna Spanbauer scored both of the Cardinals' first half goals, with one assist by Anna Lee. The entire game changed when goalkeeper Sarah Bruzek left with a concussion early in the second half. Without their All-State goalkeeper, Alexandria was unable to hold off the Sartell-St. Stephen attack.

Head coach Tom Roos said the team was reeling emotionally after seeing Bruzek go down with an injury.

"To lose that player with a lot of game left to play and the wind in our face, it makes it tough," Roos said. "It's an emotional setback for the team."

Freshman goalkeeper Emma Ziegler was left with the task of stopping the barrage of shots from Sartell-St. Stephen, something that was not made easy with the strong winds coming at the Cardinals' defensive zone. Roos was appreciative of her play coming off the bench in the game.

"We had a ninth grade goalkeeper come in that didn't ask for that position, but we threw her into it," he said. "She showed a lot of courage."

Spanbauer said the Cardinals continued to fight after seeing their goalkeeper leave the game.

“We saw our season flash before our eyes,” Spanbauer said. “Since our freshman year she’s always been there for us. It was hard to see that, but we kept our heads up."

SWIMMING AND DIVING

Alexandria 98.5, St. Cloud Tech 87.5

The Cardinal swimmers finished off the regular season with a win over conference foe St. Cloud Tech on Tuesday night. The win evened Alexandria's record at 5-5 overall and moved the Cardinals to 5-3 in the Central Lakes Conference.

Madalyn Winger got two wins again in the 200 and 500 freestyles. She finished the 200 in 2:08.60 and the 500 in 5:40. Hannah Ecklund also had two wins, taking the 200 IM in 2:25.34 and the 100 breaststroke in 1:13.51. Kate Lebrasseur added a solo win in the 100 butterfly in 1:05.74.

The 200 freestyle relay team of LeBrasseur, Eklund, Mikayle Meece and Heidi Moe got the Cardinals going with a win right off the bat. The 400 freestyle relay tema of Megan Bristow, Jaylen Olson-Rodel, LeBrasseur and Winger then ended things with a win.

VOLLEYBALL

Fergus Falls 3, Alexandria 1 (25-23, 19-25, 25-21, 25-21)

The Alexandria volleyball team saw its perfect run through the Central Lakes Conference come to an end on Tuesday night as Fergus Falls hanaded the Cardinals a 3-1 loss on the Otters' home court.

Alexandria (18-8, 11-1) got the first set 25-23 but couldn't sustain that momentum as Fergus Falls (19-4, 10-2) ran off three straight wins after that. Brooke Swanson had 10 kills to lead Alexandria's attack at the net. Amanda Christianson added nine and Kalley Bistodeau finished with seven. Amanda Haack had 37 assists and Gretchen Watkins had a team-leading 24 digs.

Osakis 3, LPGE 0 (25-13, 25-23, 25-12)

The Osakis volleyball team wrapped up a perfect run through the Prairie Conference before hosting the overall league championship this coming Monday by beating Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 3-0 on Tuesday night.

The Silverstkreaks (20-6, 10-0 Prairie) used a balanced attack at the net with eight different girls picking up at least one kill. Brooke Sorenson led the way with seven. Annalise Savageau added six kills, 13 assists and 15 digs and Mackenzie Staloch finished with five kills and seven assists. 

Osakis won the North half of the Prairie Conference with a perfect 10-0 record. The Silverstreaks will host South Division winner Browerville next Monday at 7 p.m. to determine an overall league champion. The Tigers finished 8-2 in league play through the regular season. 

Brandon-Evansville 3, Parkers Prairie 2 (19-25, 25-22, 25-20, 20-25, 15-9)

Brandon-Evansville ran into a Parkers Prairie team with a lot of fight and came away with a narrow 3-2 win that wrapped up a Little Eight Conference championship season for the Chargers with a 9-1 league record.

Brandon-Evansville (17-10-2) had three girls with double-digit kills. Diane Campbell led the way with 17, while Caroline Jansen and Emma Friedrich finished with 16 and 14, respectively. Kinsley Randt ran the offense with 43 assists and Mariah Hansen had a team-leading 14 digs.

"After a tough loss in Wheaton the previous night, I wanted to see the girls settle in a bit more tonight," Chargers head coach Kelly Olson said. "Minus the sets we lost, I think we did that. We looked more comfortable out there together. We still had some communication issues and who has what problems, but we did a pretty good job of covering those up. Our passing was much improved from the night before."

Rothsay 3, Ashby 2 (25-20, 14-25, 25-19, 13-25, 15-13)

Rothsay (6-13-3, 4-6 LEC) went back and forth with Ashby (8-19-1, 4-6 LEC) on Tuesday night before the Tigers came away with a 3-2 Little Eight Conference win.

Alexis Ness led the Arrows with 12 kills in the losing effort. Amber Sundal led the defense with 16 digs. Paige Nelson was 21-21 serving with 14 points and two aces and Madison Van Santen had 24 assists.

Melrose 3, Minnewaska 0 (25-9, 25-21, 25-21)

The Lakers couldn't keep up with Melrose in a sweep that dropped Minnewaska to 9-14 overall.

Alison Hoeper had nine kills to lead the Lakers' attack at the net. Ariel Ostrander added four kills and 16 digs, while Taylor Amundson had 12 assists.

WCA 3, Royalton 2 (25-13, 17-25, 21-25, 25-19, 15-11)

The Knights needed to rally from a 2-1 deficit but they got the job done in a five-set win over Royalton in the Prairie Conference on Tuesday.

West Central Area (16-8, 5-5 Prairie) got eight kills from Danielle Diedrich to help out in the front row. Holly Van Kempen added nine kills, three blocks and 15 digs. Tiana Christenson had eight kills and 20 digs, while Christina Kruize had 30 assists.

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Eric Morken
Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.
(320) 763-1229
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