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Volleyball: Eagles defeat Battle Lake gain momentum at weekend tourney

Taylor Plautz hits through the Frazee defense in this season's home opener. Robert Williams/FOCUS1 / 2
The Eagles came away with a runner-up finish at last weekend's Pelican Rapids tournament. Submitted photo.2 / 2

BATTLE LAKE -- After a disappointing loss to Frazee in their home opener, the New York Mills volleyball team hit to road for a Section 6A match-up at Battle Lake coming away with a 3-0 victory over the Battlers.

The Eagles won by scores of 25-21, 25-15 and 25-20.

The visit to Battle Lake brought wins for the entire New York Mills program.

The Eagles swept the Battlers at all levels: 7th grade, 8th grade, C and B teams to compliment the varsity win.

"We need to discipline ourselves and each other to not ever let down and play hard every ball," Eagles' Head Coach Angela Paavola said. "That will make the difference for us in games to come."

Senior Jackie Imsande led the team with eight kills and two blocks. Taylor Plautz had five kills. Ellie Rutten had four.

Brooke Kupfer had a team-high eight digs. Tori Kempenich added six.

The Eagles took their newfound win streak into a weekend round robin tournament at Pelican Rapids.

New York Mills finished second to the host Vikings after defeating Hillcrest Lutheran Academy 2-0 (25-8, 25-18), Rothsay 2-0 (26-24, 25-22), Battle Lake again 2-0 (25-18, 25-12) and tying Pelican Rapids 1-1 (25-18, 8-25).

"We played pretty well during the entire tournament," Paavola said. "We served well as a team and our hitting was pretty accurate. What hurts us is when we stop focusing on the game. If we played focused the entire time and played with confidence we wouldn't lose games like 8-25."

The Eagles only tournament loss came to Lake Park-Audubon 2-0 by the slimmest of margins at game point in both sets (23-25, 23-25).

"We need to understand the difference between knowing where to go on the floor as compared to just playing volleyball. Just take care of things on our side and we will be fine."

Player highlights from the tournament:

Jackie Imsande 25 kills, 12/14 serving 1 ace 86%, 3solo, and 1 assist block.

Taylor Plautz 15 kills, 25/28 serving 4 aces 89%.

Ellie Rutten 23 kills, 32/37 serving 2 aces 86%, 9 solo blocks.

Tori Kempenich 20 kills, 29/31 serving 1 ace 94%, 30 digs, 32/42 serve receives.

Lexie Rankka 4 kills, 57 set assists, 42/45 serving 4 aces 93%, 31 digs.

Lydia Irons 25 set assists, 25/26 serving 5 aces 96%, 16 digs.

Brooke Kupfer 29/30 serving 1 ace 97%, 40 digs, 94/111 serve receives.

Brooklyn Frost 3 kills, 8 set assists, 33/36 serving 4 aces 92%, 7 digs.

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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