Card volleyball: Alexandria needs five to top WillmarThe win put Alexandria one game ahead of Willmar in the CLC
By: Lori Mork, Alexandria Echo Press
Alexandria handed Willmar their first Central Lakes Conference loss of the season Tuesday night in a five-game battle as the Alexandria Cards won 25-20, 21-25, 25-17, 24-26, 15-5.
“The Cardinals battled long and hard against Willmar,” said head coach Becky Schlichting. “After trading sets – Alexandria winning one and three, and Willmar winning two and four – the Alex girls came out strong in the fifth set, storming past Willmar 15-5 to take the match.”
The win put Alexandria one game ahead of Willmar at 3-1 in conference play, and both teams trail CLC leader Fergus Falls, which stands at 4-0.
“The Willmar offense is large and strong, which we struggled with a bit early on in the evening,” said Schlichting. “However, after a couple of minor lineup changes, which provided us with a larger block against their biggest hitters, we did a much better job of managing them.
“From there on out, the game was in our hands. If we were on our toes, aware of what was going on, and ready to move, the points fell our direction,” she added. “We struggled with our energy and court awareness at times but pulled through when it really mattered most.
“Willmar has been playing well, and beating some CLC teams they haven’t been expected to. It was a huge win for us and the girls fought hard for it.”
Adrianne Wensman and Amanda Christianson led the way offensively for the Cardinals with 11 and 10 kills respectively, while Jenni Wild added seven, Emily Kuennen five and Danielle Strater 4.
“Strater also provided the team with 25 service points, many of which came in long streaks at key moments of the game,” said Schlichting.
Shaneé Herd led the defense with a season-high 30 digs.
“Shaneé continues to be a solid force in our back row,” said the coach, whose team also got 18 digs from Jenni Wild, 14 from Allie Noetzelman and 12 from Natalie Watkins. “Defense all around was a strong point.”
Noetzelman also led the team with 29 assists and Nicole Canavatti provided 10.
Alexandria will be at Brainerd on Tuesday.
ALEXANDRIA 25 21 25 24 15
WILLMAR 20 25 17 26 5
HITTING (hits-attempts-kills) – Allie Noetzelman 9-9-4, Natalie Watkins 7-10-0, Adrianne Wensman 19-24-11, Amanda Christianson 31-35-10, Jenni Wild 25-25-7, Tara LeBrasseur 12-17-2, Shaneé Herd 4-5-1, Dani Strater 7-8-4, Emily Kuenne 15-19-5, Jess Burns 2-5-0, Nicole Canavati 1-1-1. SETTING ASSISTS – Noetzelman 29, Christianson 1, Wild 1, LeBrasseur 1, Burns 1, Canavati 10. SERVING (good-attempts-aces) – Noetzelman 15-16-0, Watkins 13-14-2, Wensmann 16-16-1, Wild 18-18-2, Herd 11-11-1, Strater 24-25-5, Canavati 8-8-0. DIGS – Noetzelman 14, Watkins 12, Wensman 3, Christianson 2, Wild 18, LeBrasseur 1, Herd 30, Strater 5, Kuennen 2, Burns 2, Canavati 5. ACE BLOCKS – Wensman 1, Christianson 1, LeBrasseur 2.