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.
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Alexandria’s match against Rocori on Tuesday night was a bit of a synopsis of the Cardinals’ season so far. Alexandria has played well at times this fall on the way to a 4-3 record. Against the Spartans, they went up 2-0 by winning 25-21 and 25-14 in the first two. It did not look then like they would need five sets to get the job done, but that’s how things played out as Rocori won 29-27 in the third and 25-21 in the fourth before Alexandria breezed through the fifth, 15-4.
September is here, which means another Alexandria Blizzard season has started after the local NA3HL team took care of Breezy Point on the road by a 4-2 score in the season opener on Saturday. The Blizzard jumped out to a 2-1 lead in this one and never trailed after adding goals in the second and third period. Cody Squillace, Tanner Frerichs, Cole Lehmann and Dylan Giorgio spread out the scoring, while Val Popowski assisted on three of the goals.
The West Central Area volleyball team pushed Rothsay to the brink on Monday but lost a heartbreaker in a 16-14 fifth set. The Knights held a 2-1 lead after winning a marathon second set by a 32-30 final and taking the third 25-16. The Tigers responded by winning 25-21 to force a fifth set.
Archery season always makes me feel like fall is finally here, but Saturday's bow opener in Minnesota felt nothing like fall. Truthfully, I would much rather hunt in bitter cold conditions than the 90 degrees I sat through on Saturday afternoon. I might have chose to sit out that afternoon hunt with a long season in front of us, but my buddy, Jacob Busiahn, was here from Minneapolis to hunt, so we were going to give it our best shot.
The Alexandria Youth Baseball Association had a successful summer by being well represented at state tournaments in the younger levels. Now some of those local teams have been honored for how they conducted themselves while there. The Alexandria Cardinals 11U AA Red, 13U AA Black and 13U AA Red teams recently received Youth 1st Team Awards for their outstanding sportsmanship during the 2018 Minnesota Sports Federation state baseball tournament.
The Alexandria tennis team won a nailbiter last Friday as the Cardinals swept the doubles lineup to get a 4-3 win over Willmar.
Just like that, the Alexandria girls soccer team has run off a three-game winning streak. The Cardinals started the season 0-5 but have outscored their last three opponents 12-1 after a 3-0 win over Willmar on Saturday. Alexandria’s eighth-grade goalie, Sophia Vinje, got the shutout with 12 saves as she played against a team that is coached by her older brother, former Alexandria graduate David Vinje.
Brainerd (1-2) 36, Alexandria (1-2) 7 Kimball Area (2-1) 28, Parkers Prairie (1-2) 20 Wheaton-Herman-Norcross (3-0) 14, Brandon-Evansville (1-2) 8 F/OT Minnewaska (2-1) 43, Montevideo (0-3), 0 Barnesville (3-0), West Central Area-Ashby (1-2) 14 Osakis (2-1) 56, Benson (0-3) 8
The Parkers Prairie football team jumped out to an early lead on Friday night but could not quite hold on in a 28-20 loss to Kimball. The Cubs (2-1) took a one-point lead in the fourth quarter on a 47-yard touchdown run by junior quarterback Tucker Schultz. The Panthers then helped Kimball out by touching a punt that the Cubs then recovered before another 15-yard run into the end zone by Schultz made it an eight-point game.
Things did not come easy for the Minnewaska football team in the first half on Friday night, but that’s part of the process for the Lakers this season.