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Laker volleyball strings together three consecutive wins

What is the best way to answer a three-match losing streak, such as that which hindered the Detroit Lakes volleyball team earlier this month?

The answer would be by starting a three-game winning steak.

The Lakers improved to 10-9 on the season with another Section 8-2A victory, a 3-1 triumph over Fergus Falls Monday inside Ralph Anderson Gym.

The Lakers made the quick leap with a 2-0 start, before the Otters stormed back for a 25-20 win in the third game and threatened to tie the match in the fourth set, before DL rallied to win 25-23.

"We focused on our tempo and pace and the girls ran their hitting routes aggressively," said DL head coach Beth Leighton. "We continued to serve aggressively. It was also so nice to be back at home, the crowds just have been fabulous."

The Lakers had to contend with Fergus Falls' sophomore middle hitter Mariah Monke, who has been a force at the net with her 6-2 frame.

But the Lakers went right at the Otter hitter, as junior Carrie Sorensen recorded nine solo blocks and nine assisted, while sophomore Kayli Muckenhirn added five solos and five assisted.

"A lot of the blocks slowed the ball down and we were able to play the ball up and aggressively," Leighton said. "Overall, the blocks took the pressure off our back row."

Seniors Bethany Stoltenburg and Ashlyn Jasken keyed the final points in the final match, while the latter finished with a team-high 15 kills.

Everything was clicking, as the backrow did a good job receiving balls and passing to setter Rachel Shane, who had an outstanding 57 assists on the night.

"It was a big section win and now we've gained some valuable points in the section the last two matches," Leighton included.

To ensure a home playoff game in the first round, DL needs to secure a top four seed. They are close in doing that, with just over 20 points in the section.

"We definitely would love to have a home playoff game, but it's more important how well we are playing going into the playoffs," the DL coach said.

The Lakers will close out the regular season with a home game against Perham (9-9) Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

The DLHS Booster Club will also be hosting a Turkey Feed before the Perham match.

Laker results

Fergus Falls at Detroit Lakes, Monday, Oct. 19.

Lakers 3, Otters 1

(27-25, 25-22, 20-25, 25-23)

DL stat leaders -- Kills: Ashlyn Jasken 15, Carrie Sorensen 11...Setting: Rachel Shane 57 assists, Jasken 15, Sorensen 11...Blocks: Sorensen 9 solo, 9 assisted, Kayli Muckenhirn 5 solo, 5 assisted...Digs: Jasken 16-19; Muckenhirn 13-16...Serving: Mackenzie Gedrose 16-16; Shane 12-12.