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NYM Volleyball: Mills to host U-H in 1st round of 6A playoffs

Katie Schik is one of seven New York Mills seniors looking to make a successful playoff run. They open the 6A tournament at the Sports Center Oct. 29 against U-H at 7 p.m. Kevin Cederstrom/EOT Illustrated

John George

When the Eagles open Section 6A playoffs at the Mills Sports Center tonight (Oct. 29), they hope to be back to full strength. New York Mills is just 1-4 in October, but they have gone through much of the second half of the season at less than full strength with illness affecting most of the team at one point or another.

New York Mills (9-11-1) will be the No. 6 seed in the 6A North Sub-Section. Their first playoff game tonight will be against No. 11 Ulen-Hitterdal. The Spartans are 0-21 on the season (0-9 Heart O' Lakes).

"The girls finally seem to be getting over the flu bug that hit our school, so we should have everyone back for our game on Thursday night against Ulen," head coach Amy Koskela said.

Most notably, the team has been without one of their main front line hitters, Alicia Boe. Boe, a sophomore out with pneumonia, hasn't played since Oct. 8 against Pillager. She's expected back in the lineup Thursday, but isn't quite back to her normal self yet, according to Koskela.

If the Eagles win Thursday, they would advance to the next round, and travel to Twin Valley to take on No. 3 Norman County East on Friday, Oct. 30. NCE (9-6) has won five of their last six matches. Four of the five wins came by 3-0 scores.

Mills and NCE have not met since 2005 at the New York Mills Invitational.

"We've been working on trying to run a quicker offense, since we know some of our upcoming opponents have some good height in the front line," Koskela said. "Hopefully we can make it as far as last year if not further."

As the No. 4 seed in the 2008 6A North playoffs, Mills beat Norman County West, 3-2, before falling to No. 1 Ada-Borup in the second round, 3-0. Ada-Borup went on to win the 6A title, and finished in third place at the Class A State Tournament.

Park Region (Final) Conf. All

Sebeka 6-0 20-5

#4-A Bertha-Hewitt 5-1 25-4

Pillager 3-3 10-10

Verndale 4-5 11-13

New York Mills 3-4 9-11-1

Henning 2-4 5-15

Menahga 0-6 3-15