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UPDATED: Sports roundup from Thursday, October 10

TENNIS

Section 6A Tournament: Semifinals - Osakis 7, Sauk Centre 0; Melrose 4, Minnewaska 3; Finals - Osakis 5, Melrose 2

The Osakis tennis team will play in its third straight state tournament after winning the Section 6A title on Thursday afternoon.

The Silverstreaks got to the title match with a 7-0 win over Sauk Centre in the semifinals. They waited to see who they would play before Melrose edged second-seeded Minnewaska 4-3 to set up the championship. The Silverstreaks weren't going to let the Dutchmen pull off another upset. They won 5-2 over Melrose to secure their spot in the Class A state tournament.

"To make the state tournament for the third straight year is an awesome accomplishment for this team," head coach Ryan Maddock said. "Our section had two other high quality teams in Minnewaska and Melrose, so to make it through our section was very tough."

Taylor Kraemer dominated her first singles match against Melrose to set the tone in the championship match. She won 6-0, 6-0, while Hannah Szech also took care of things at fourth singles with a 6-4, 6-4 win.

That was all the wins they needed in the singles lineup after the Osakis doubles teams ran the table. Katie Anderson and Katelyn Foster won 6-2, 6-4 at the first spot. Elyse Wiener and Peyton Garcia needed three sets but persevered in a tough match with Kelly Kennedy and Sheila Poepping to win 3-6, 6-1, (13-11). Morgan Silbernick and Ashley Kraemer also won at the third spot with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Madison Worms and Mady Brinkman.

Osakis is ranked fifth in the latest Class A rankings after spending much of the season ranked second. The Silverstreaks' only loss of the year came against fourth-ranked Foley late in the regular season. They had the pressure of living up to high expectations all fall and handled that well through their run in the section tournament. 

"I thought our girls handled being the favorites in the section very well all year long," Maddock said. "Upsets happen all the time in sports, so for us to get through the year without being upset was a relief. The girls on this team are very high-character individuals so it is great to see all of their hard work pay off."

Osakis will kick off the Class A state tournament on October 22 at 8 a.m. at the Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis.

VOLLEYBALL

Alexandria 3, Rocori 1 (25-20, 25-17, 25-15)

The Cardinal volleyball team made a statement on its home court in front of an energized crowd by sweeping second-place Rocori to win the Central Lakes Conference championship outright on Thursday night.

Alexandria (16-5, 11-0 CLC) and Rocori (16-5, 9-2 CLC) went back and forth in the first set. With the two teams tied at 20, the Cardinals rattled off five straight points to win 25-20. They controlled the rest of the match from there as they went on to win 25-17 and 25-15 to put away the conference title.

"Words can't describe how excited I am and happy," senior Amanda Christianson said. "This was the most fun game of the season so far. It was awesome."

The Cardinals fed off the energy of an excited crowd as Rocori students traveled well and chanted back and forth with the Alexandria student section. The Cardinals gave them plenty to cheer about by playing what head coach Becky Schlichting called their best match of the season to this point. 

"Rocori's a great team and to beat them to solidify [the conference title] is really great for them," Schlichting said of her players. "They played awesome tonight. This is the most consistent that they've been as far as their energy. They played well the last time they played Rocori too, but just those ups and downs. They came out to play tonight and they came out to play the whole match with maybe the exception of a five-point letdown."

Christianson and Wensia Johnson helped set the tone up front for a balanced Alexandria attack. Both girls had eight kills, while Kalley Bistodeau and Liz Schultz added six apiece and Emily Kuennen finished with four. Junior setter Amanda Haack had another good night with 30 assists and Bistodeau and Christianson had 13 and 12 digs, respectively.

"We said conference champs and then sections and then state," Bistodeau said of this team's goals coming into the year. "We really push ourselves during every moment so we can achieve our goals."

Alexandria is playing its best volleyball at the right time as the Cardinals try to accomplish their next goal of making a state tournament. They have one more conference game left, next Tuesday at Fergus Falls, and a home tournament this weekend before they can focus squarely on section play.

The Cardinals needed five sets to get the win the last time they played Rocori. Things came easier this time around, and Alexandria hopes to build on that with the biggest matches of the season still ahead.

"We know this is when we peak," Kuennen said. "We've been waiting for this time through all the games that we've been playing. We're just ready. Right away now, we're just ready to see how far we can go, which is state for sure."

Osakis 3, WCA 2 (23-25, 19-25, 25-16, 25-18, 15-9)

The Osakis volleyball team rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win in five sets and stay unbeaten in the Prairie Conference with a victory over West Central Area on Thursday night.

"We really need to find a way to start a game with solid, consistent passing," Osakis head coach Kirsten Wessel said. "I was very proud of the way that these girls fought back though and played more aggressive."

The Silverstreaks finished with three players recording double-digit kills as Brooke Sorenson led the way with 13. Annalise Savageau added 11 kills, 15 assists and 27 digs, while Brittney Sadlemyer put down 10 kills. Mackenzie Staloch had a team-high 18 assists.

Holly Van Kempen had 19 kills and Tiana Christianson added 11 to lead the Knights. Doranna Blascyk had eight kills and Christina Kruize set them up with 37 assists.

"I am slightly disappointed we couldn't finish the whole match in sets three, four, or five but tonight was a step up for us," WCA head coach Beth Hill said. "We improved and are a stronger team. This is close to us peaking at the right time. We are finding our rhythm and it is at a great time."

The loss dropped the Knights to 11-7 overall and to 4-5 in the Prairie Conference. Osakis moved to 19-6 and 9-0 in league play with the win.

Brandon-Evansville 3, Battle Lake 1 (14-25, 25-14, 25-19, 28-26

The Brandon-Evansville volleyball team guaranteed itself at least a share of the Little Eight Conference title on Thursday night by beating Battle Lake in four sets.

The Chargers (16-9-2, 8-1 LEC) and Battlers (12-4-3, 8-2 LEC) came in with one loss apiece in conference play, but it was the Chargers that left that way with an impressive showing on their home court. Emma Friedrich had a big night with 14 kills and a .542 hitting percentage. Caroline Jansen was right behind her with 13 kills. Megan Kokett led the defense with 26 digs and Kinsley Randt ran the offense with 38 assists.

"The fan turnout was wonderful tonight," Chargers head coach Kelly Olson said. "The kids, parents and community should be proud of themselves. It was the loudest I have ever heard it. That fan support does so much for a team and cannot be overlooked at the end of the match. Finally, it was great to get a win on senior night. It is a special group of young ladies here at Brandon-Evansville this year."

The Battlers have no more matches left in the LEC regular season. The Chargersl have one left next Tuesday at Parkers Prairie.

Ashby 3, Hillcrest Lutheran Academy 0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-21)

The Ashby volleyball team got the sweep on senior night as the Arrows downed Hillcrest Lutheran Academy 25-23, 25-20 and 25-21.

Paige Nelson and Alexis Ness each had a team-leading five kills to help lead the way for Ashby. Madison VanSanten had a team-high 16 assists and Abbie Ras went 16-for-16 serving with 13 points and two aces.

Sauk Centre 3, Minnewaska 0 (25-9, 25-18, 25-11)

The Sauk Centre volleyball team made quick work of Minnewaska on Thursday night with a three-set sweep.

Ariel Ostrander had seven kills to lead the Lakers' offense, while Alison Hoeper had six. No other player had more than four for Minnewaska as the Lakers dropped to 9-13 overall.

BOYS' SOCCER

Alexandria 5, East Grand Forks 3 (Section 8A tournament)

The Alexandria boys' soccer team broke out offensively and came away with a 5-3 road win in the opening round of the Section 8A tournament on Thursday night.

Kagan Foster waisted no time getting Alexandria on the board by putting the ball in net at the fourth minute off an assist by Kevin Roedel.  The Green Wave answered back by scoring 30 seconds later.  

Devon Crowe scored on an assist by Kagan Foster not long after that, and in the 25th minute, Kevin Roedel scored unassisted on a direct free kick to make the score at halftime 3-1.  

The second half saw Jake Nienaber score in the 42nd minute unassisted.  In the 63rd minute, East Grand Forks scored but was answered back by Devon Crowe scoring just a minute later. Alexandria's Zach Lamb got the win by turning aside 10 of the 13 shots he faced. 

The Cardinals will take on the North's top seed Hillcrest-Pelican Rapids on the road this Saturday. Hillcrets-Pelican Rapids won 13-0 in its opening game against Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.

SWIMMING AND DIVING

Alexandria 98.5, Sauk Rapids 87.5

Madalyn Winger and Hannah Eklund helped the Alexandria swim team get a close win over Sauk Rapids on Thursday night.

Both girls had two wins as Winger took the 200 freestyle in 2:07.92 and the 500 freestyle in 5:44.10. Eklund won the 200 IM in 2:26.25 and the 100 breaststroke in 1:12.40. Bailey Serum added a win in the 100 backstroke by finishing in 1:08.65 before the 400 freestyle relay team of Megan Bristow, Winger, Macy Hattlestad and Kate LeBrasseur combined to help wrap up the win for Alexandria.

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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