Card volleyball: Alexandria handles BrainerdAlexandria rallied back from a first set loss to win 3-1
By: Lori Mork, Alexandria Echo Press
After a slow start that saw Brainerd win the first set in extra points 28-26, the Cardinal girls came back for wins of 25-12, 25-15 and 25-17 to improve to 5-1 in Central Lakes Conference play and stay firmly in second behind undefeated Fergus Falls.
“After losing the first set against Brainerd, the girls buckled down, reorganized and defeated the Warriors with confidence and composure,” said Alexandria head coach Becky Schlichting. “Both the Cardinals and the Warriors came out strong in set one, prepared for a long night.
“However, the Warrior offense was slightly more predictable than ours and their defense a little less organized.
“Once we were able to adjust to their power hitters and force them out of their comfort zones, we remained in control,” said the coach. “This was a huge win for the Cardinals as it was a two-point CLC match against one of the strongest CLC opponents.
“We’re continuing to work toward our goal of CLC champs and setting ourselves up for success against the still undefeated Fergus Falls Otters, the next time around.”
Amanda Christianson and Emily Kuennen were a force for the Cardinals as they had 15 and 10 kills, respectively.
Shaneé Herd and Jenni Wild did a great job on defense with 33 and 29 digs, respectively, while Allie Noetzelman had 24 set assists.
“Natalie Watkins, Shaneé Herd and Jenni Wild had one of their best serve reception nights for the season,” said Schlichting, “which made running our offense much easier.
“Dani Strater made smart plays at the net and also served aggressively when she got back to the service line. It was a fun win for the team and was a nice confidence booster as we head into a tough weekend.”
Alexandria will be the elite Apple Valley Invitational today and tomorrow in a tournament featuring 15 teams, including seven state-ranked teams.
Three of those are at the top of their class: Lakeville North in Class AAA, Marshall in Class AA and Bethlehem Academy in Class A.
ALEXANDRIA 26 25 25 25
BRAINERD 28 12 15 17
HITTING (good-attempts-kills) – Allie Noetzelman 3-3-2, Natalie Watkins 5-5-0, Adrianne Wensman 17-19-6, Amanda Christianson 32-37-15, Jenni Wild 21-23-5, Tara LeBrasseur 18-20-8, Shaneé Herd 2-4-0, Dani Strater 17-19-1, Emily Kuennen 21-25-10, Nicole Canavati 6-7-1.
SET ASSISTS – Noetzelman 24, Wensman 2, Christianson 1, Kuennen 1.
SERVING (good-attempts-ace) – Noetzelman 16-16-0, Watkins 18-19-0, Wensmann 15-16-1, Wild 16-16-0, Herd 12-12-0, Strater 5-5-0.
DIGS – Noetzelman 17, Watkins 14, Wensman 4, Christianson 1, Wild 29, LeBrasseur 6, Herd 33, Strater 4, Kuennen 1, Canavati 8.
BLOCK ACES – Wensmann 3, LeBrasseur 4, Kuennen 1.