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Volleyball roundup: Minnewaska gets upset win in 3AA opener

The sixth-seeded Lakers won in four sets at third-seeded Eden Valley-Watkins, while West Central Area fell in the fourth-fifth seed matchup to end its season at 18-10.

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Minnewaska's Avery Fier tips a shot over the net in a match against West Central Area on Oct. 6, 2022. Fier had 11 kills in helping the Lakers to a four-set win at Eden Valley-Watkins in the Section 3AA playoff opener on Oct. 28.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press
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The Minnewaska volleyball team went on the road in the Section 3AA North tournament opener and pulled off the upset over third-seeded Eden Valley-Watkins (16-11) on Friday.

The sixth-seeded Lakers (12-14) won in four sets, splitting the first two and then winning 25-18 in both the third and fourth sets to secure the win. The Lakers did a good job spreading the ball around, getting double-digit kills from Dreya Barsness (16), Dacia Fleury (14) and Avery Fier (11).

Minnewaska will play at second-seeded New London-Spicer (16-11) on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. New London-Spicer beat Morris Area in four sets on Friday.

MINNEWASKA 3, EDEN VALLEY-WATKINS 1

(25-20, 18-25, 25-18, 25-18)

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MINNEWASKA - Avery Fier - 11 kills, 1 assist, 12 digs, 3 blocks; Brooklyn Meyer - 5 digs, 1 block; Dacia Fleury - 14 kills, 1 assist, 1 ace, 8 digs, 1 block; Dreya Barsness - 16 kills, 1 assist, 1 ace, 7 digs, 2 blocks; Emma Poegal - 2 aces; Haillie Schultz - 2 aces, 6 digs; Haley Shea - 3 kills, 46 assists, 4 aces, 8 digs; Miaya Guggisberg - 6 kills, 4 digs, 2 blocks

Knights wrap up 18-win season

West Central Area was seeded fifth in the 3AA North tournament and went on the road to fourth-seeded Litchfield (16-12) where the Dragons defended their home court in a 3-1 win.

The Knights won set three, 25-23, but fell in two-point sets in the first and fourth around a 25-20 Litchfield win in the second.

“We knew we’d have to play scrappy defense,” WCA head coach Melissa Foslien said. “We had the lead in the first set, 19-13, but let the Dragons back in with some tough rounds of serve receive. We know that we cannot let teams get big runs on us. The momentum can shift so quickly. You have to keep serving.

“A slow start in the fourth kept us playing catch up. A service run by Izzy Puchalski with the score 19-24 gave us hope. She served four straight to make the score 23-24, but we ran out of room for errors and this time around we came up short.”

Foslien said Macy Grosz, Madelyn Westrom and Sophie Sanstead had great nights defensively. Mya Foslien led the way at the net with 19 kills.

“Izzy Puchalski played impressively out of the middle,” coach Foslien said. “She is really going to be an asset to our program in the future. That’s the thing with this team, we are still very young. We graduate Lexi Hunter in the spring, but we will have the majority of our team back for a few years.”

WCA finished the season with an 18-10 record overall.

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LITCHFIELD 3, WEST CENTRAL AREA 1

(26-24, 25-20, 23-25, 25-23)

WCA - Mya Foslien - 13-14 serving, 1 ace, 10 digs, 19 kills, 1 block; Macy Grosz - 10-10 serving, 34 assists, 24 digs, 1 kill, 1 block; Whitney Westrom - 9-10 serving, 15 digs, 5 kills, 3 blocks; Madelyn Westrom - 12-15 serving, 1 ace, 18 digs; Izzy Puchalski - 16-16 serving, 6 digs, 8 kills, 1 block; Lexi Hunter - 22-24, 1 ace; Sophia Sanstead - 21 digs; Alaina Sykora - 1 dig; Wylie McNally - 6 digs; Madison Fagre - 2 digs, 1 kill; Addison Staples - 7 kills

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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