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Lakers fall to Moorhead

Jenna Field makes a diving save during the Lakers’ 3-1 victory over Pequot Lakes Tuesday. BRIAN BASHAM/DL NEWSPAPERS

Moorhead middle hitter Alyssa LaFlamme tried to hold back from saying Thursday’s match versus Detroit Lakes was more important than the rest, but she just couldn’t.

The Spuds had lost seven of eight matches against Minnesota Class 3A volleyball teams coming into the match with the Lakers. Add the fact that the Lakers are in the same section and there’s no denying the 25-13, 25-20, 25-8 sweep was big for the Spuds.

“All games matter, but the ones in your section are really important,” LaFlamme said. “It always feels good to beat someone in your section. We knew that we had to come out swinging hard and get confidence.”

LaFlamme had a match-high 12 kills to not only push Moorhead’s season-long winning streak to three, but get the Spuds back to .500 for the first time in nearly a month, at 7-7 overall.

“We just played the game that we know how to play,” LaFlamme said. “We came out strong, we came out very confident.

“The confidence is really helping us and I feel like it’s on the up and up. Every match that we win boosts the confidence and it’s just going to keep going up.”

There was plenty of confidence to go around the first set against Detroit Lakes (10-11) for Moorhead, as the Spuds opened the match with a 23-9 run before two of Olivia Ostlie’s 10 kills – to go along with her 13 digs –  shut the door on the set.

Set 2 was a battle, as there were 13 ties, including one at 19-19.

Two blocks from LaFlamme, three Detroit Lakes side outs and a kill from Ostlie fueled a Moorhead 6-1 run to close it out. Emily Uglem had four of her nine kills in the set to lead Moorhead.

“Knowing that we’ve won a game three times in a row brings a lot of confidence,” Uglem said. “It’s all about confidence. We’ve brought confidence every single game during this winning streak and we’ve never doubted ourselves.”

There was no doubt in Set 3, as Moorhead opened the set on an 8-1 run behind the serving of Emily Tollefson, who dropped three aces in a row to get the Spuds going.

From there, the Spuds added a 13-4 run and left no doubt.

“We knew that beating 3A teams was an issue,” Moorhead coach Char Lien said. “We know we play tough competition and those are the games we have to strive for. We set the bar high and see how we can compete.

“We’ve always been in those games this season. It’s not like we’re getting throttled, but it’s really good to come away with a win.”

Detroit Lakes is headed in the opposite direction from Moorhead, as Thursday’s loss was the Lakers’ fourth in their last five matches.

“We just didn’t show up,” Detroit Lakes coach Jim Wood said. “We’ve had a problem where we either play at the top of our game or we play really low. It was not a good showing. This was the toughest serving we’ve seen all season.”

Lakers take control of Mid-State Conference

The Lakers will have firm a handle of the Mid-State and can clinch it Tuesday with a win in Staples-Motley, which would keep them undefeated in conference play.

A 3-1 win over visiting Pequot Lakes Tuesday was the tipping point for DL, which was the Patriots’ (11-5) first Mid-State loss, with the Lakers improving to 4-0 and the Pats 2-1.

“All six seniors started and did a great job, it was fun to see their group all be on the floor together,” Wood said.

Shay Nielsen led with 16 kills and Trisa Hutchinson followed with 11.

Sierra Braukmann and Katie Larson led in assists with 22 and 16, respectively, while Wood led with nine digs.

Chris Murphy | Forum News Service

Detroit Lakes at Moorhead, Thursday, Oct. 3

Spuds 3, Lakers 0

(25-13, 25-20, 25-8)

DL (kills-blocks-aces): Field 2-0-1, Nielsen 3-2-1, Hutchinson 4-4-1, Wood 0-0-0 (9 digs), Taylor 0-2-0, Braukmann 0-0-0 (6 assists), Larson 0-0-0 (6 assists)

Mhd: Lund 0-0-1, Gunkel 0-3-0 (35 assists), Johnson 3-0-0, Uglem 9-0-1, Swanson 1-0-0, Tollefson 1-0-3, Carney 5-1-0, Ostlie 10-0-0 (13 digs), Gulseth 0-0-0 (13 digs), LaFlamme 12-3-0, Dalquist 0-1-0.

Pequot Lakes at Detroit Lakes, Tuesday, Oct. 1

Lakers 3, Patriots 1

(25-15, 25-22, 20-25, 25-15)

DL: Field 7-0-2; Nielsen 16-1-1; Hutchinson 11-2-0; Wood 0-0-1; Taylor 1-1-0; Austin 6-2-0; Vagle 2-0-0; Halbakken 2-0-0

Assists: Wood 1, Taylor 1, Braukmann 22, Vagle 2, Halbakken 1, Larson 16.

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