Eagles bounce back at Ulen Tournament
Playing with a full and healthy lineup for the first time in weeks, the Eagles full compliment dropped a 3-0 match to Bertha-Hewitt (25-17, 25-19, 25-10) Thursday.
The victory evened the Bears record at 5-5.
The loss drops the Eagles record to 3-7-1, including tournament play, which was on tap last weekend with matches versus Climax-Fischer, Frazee, Ulen-Hitterdal and Hillsboro, N.D. "Tonight was an adjustment with getting our injured players back on the floor," Head Coach Amy Koskela said.
Six Eagles had kills in the match, led by Jackie Imsande's five and Taylor Geiser with four.
Brooke Kupfer had 11 digs, while Lexie Rankka had 15 assists.
The Eagles split four matches at the weekend tournament hosted by Ulen-Hitterdal finishing in second place in pool play after a rough patch of home games.
NY Mills defeated the host Spartans 2-0 (25-22, 25-21) and Fischer-Climax 2-0 (25-14, 25-23).
Ellie Rutten had 11 kills to lead the Eagles' close victory over Ulen.
"The girls played well, but these games were definitely point for point with some long volleys. It was great seeing the girls winning those volleys."
Rankka had 10 digs and 17 assists. Kupfer had a team-high 19 digs.
NY Mills cruised in the first game versus Fischer-Climax winning 25-14, before taking the match by the narrowest of margins in game two 25-23.
"Our passing was better, which allowed for better plays. Lexie was able to give the hitters nice sets."
Rankka had 16 assists in the match, with kills going to Rutten (7), Imsande (5), Geiser (4) and Taylor Plautz (4). Geiser also added three aces. Kupfer led the team in digs again with seven.
Frazee, who downed the Eagles to open the season 3-0 at Frazee, swept the tournament match with the Eagles 2-0 (25-20, 25-19).
The Hornets dominated at the net led by big hitter Alexis Tappe's 10 kills; Krissy Marlen had nine kills and four blocks; McKinzie Tangen had 9 kills and an ace; Jena Rader moved the ball around for 22 assists and added a kill.
"The girls played hard against a good blocking and hitting team, but fell short by a few points making it hard to come back as strong as I know we can play."
Imsande led the Eagles with six kills. Rankka had nine assists.
Eight Eagles had digs, led by Amy Nebosis' six, while only Imsande and Tori Kempenich (3) had more than two kills.
Rounding out tournament play, the Eagles went the distance versus Hillsboro with the Burros coming out on top 2-1 (19-25, 25-21, 15-12) with a narrow 15-12 victory in game three.
"Hillsboro played great defense, picking up or blocking nearly every ball we sent over."
Kempenich and Imsande had five kills. Rutten led the team with seven.
"They gave us plenty of opportunities to take charge in games two and three."
NY Mills missed five serves to give the Burros free points.
"We think the girls should be happy with how well they turned around a rough week of games at home."
Aside from Bertha-Hewitt, Waubun and Henning defeated New York Mills by scores of 3-0 in the past week.
NY Mills hits the road for what will be a tall task at number nine-ranked 2A defending state champions Wadena-Deer Creek Tuesday.
Wadena-Deer Creek is an undefeated 11-0 on the season only dropping three games in 11 matches.
Thursday, they head east again for a matchup with Verndale.