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Volleyball: Detroit Lakes team pushes Cardinals, but fall in end

Detroit Lakes’ Sophie Wood makes a diving effort to save a ball against Alexandria Tuesday. Brian Basham/DL NEWSPAPERS

A couple of sluggish starts led to a pair of strong comebacks by the No. 5 Detroit Lakes volleyball team against top-seeded Alexandria, but it was not enough, as the Cardinals ended the Lakers’ season with a 3-0 win Tuesday.

The Lakers had to battle back from deficits of 8-2 in the first set and 7-3 in the second, but they did just that by forcing the Cardinals to rally themselves at the end of each game.

But unfortunately for DL, that energy expended in their comebacks, resulted in losses of 25-21 and 25-22. That in turn, drained the Lakers (13-13), as the Cardinals (20-8) posted the sweep with a convincing 25-12 third set win.

The Lakers were led offensively by senior middle hitter Trisa Hutchinson’s 10 kills and junior outside hitter Shay Nielsen’s 10.

But the Cardinals did use some effective blocking at the net by junior Elizabeth Schultz and Amanda Haack.

The Lakers fought back from an 8-2 deficit in game one, with some strong offense by Nielsen and Hutchinson.

DL tied the game at 16-16 and even nabbed a 19-18 lead, before Alexandria broke a 20-20 tie with a 5-1 run with help by kills by Amanda Christenson and Emily Kuennen, along with an ace by Haack.

The second game feature a DL comeback from a 7-3 hole, which led to nine different ties, as DL took a 20-18 lead after sophomore Alyssa Austin nailed down a block for the point.

But the Cardinals rallied once again by tying the game 20-20 on Christenson hard kill down the middle, as Alexandria proceeded to score the final five points, to DL’s two.

The Lakers held tough in game three early on, but the Cardinals stretched a 4-4 tie into a 15-9 advantage, where they rolled to the 25-12 victory.

The Cardinals will face No. 2 Moorhead, which defeated No. 3 Bemidji 3-1 in the other semifinal game. The finals will be played at a neutral site Friday at 7 p.m.

DL notches upset over No. 4 Monticello

The playoffs was the perfect time to put together their best game of the season, as the Lakers downed No. 4 Monticello 3-1, behind strong defense and with the help of 20 kills by Nielsen.

DL downed the Magic 25-15, 25-19 and 25-22, while losing the third set 25-16.

“The Lakers came together and put on one of their finest performances this year,” said DL head coach Jim Wood.

Outside hitter Jenna Field also had a good night with 12 kills.

Sophie Wood served five aces and led the team with 12 digs, while Sierra Braukman added 29 assists. 

Section 8-3A semifinals: (5) Detroit Lakes at (1) Alexandria, Tuesday, Oct. 29

Cardinals 3, Lakers 0

(25-21, 25-22, 25-12)

DL stats – Kills: Jenna Field 2, Shay Nielsen 10, Trisa Hutchinson 10, Julia Taylor 3, Sierra Braukmann 1, Alyssa Austin 1…Blocks: Nielsen 1, Hutchinson 2, Austin 2…Aces: Field 1…Assists: Nielsen 1, Sophie Wood 1, Taylor 2, Braukmann 20…Digs: Field 7, Nielsen 5, Hutchinson 1, Wood 9, Hanna Gedrose 5, Braukmann 7.

Section 8-3A quarterfinals: (5) Detroit Lakes at (4) Monticello, Friday, Oct. 25

Lakers 3, Magic 1

(25-15, 25-19, 16-25, 25-22)   

DL stats – Kills: Jenna Field 12, Shay Nielsen 20, Trisa Hutchinson 4, Julia Taylor 2, Sierra Braukmann 1, Alyssa Austin 3…Blocks: Nielsen 1, Hutchinson 1, Austin 3…Aces: Field 1, Nielsen 1, Sophie Wood 5…Assists: Hutchinson 1, Wood 1, Braukmann 29…Digs: Field 6, Nielsen 8, Hutchinson 1, Wood 12, Hanna Gedrose 1, Braukmann 4

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.