Volleyball takes third at tourney, defeats Monticello

by Ashley Hertwig
Kicking off the 2010 season, the Irish made their first appearance at the Albany Early Bird Tournament on Friday, August 27.  
“This is our seventh year attending the Albany Early Bird Tournament,” said Head Coach Marty Kiebel. “It has always been a great way for our program to get a jump-start on the season, and we are able to see what is working and what isn’t at this stage of the season.” 
Starting off the day, the Irish faced Park Rapids.  
“I saw our team make some nervous mistakes, which is typical the first match of the season,” said Kiebel.  
Even with a couple mistakes, the Irish were able to pull off a close win 25-23 for the first game.  Getting over first-game jitters, Maple Lake won the second game as well, this time with a score of 25-19.
Next up, Maple Lake played Little Falls. Just like Park Rapids, the first game against Little Falls was close but the Irish pulled off a 25-21 win. Switching sides for the second game, the Irish girls were able to keep the ball off the ground and took another win 25-17.  
“When we stepped on the court against a better Little Falls team, we rose to the occasion and lifted our playing level as well,” said Kiebel.
Moving on to the third match of the day, the Irish faced Albany.  The first game proved that Albany would be a tough team to beat as they won 14-25 over the Irish.  However, Maple Lake wasn’t about to give up and they came back in the second game with a 25-19 win.  
“Albany returns many starters from last season and it was great for us to come back and win game two,” said Kiebel.  
The Irish found themselves in a pressure situation in a deciding game three, and although they put forth their best effort, Albany won 15-10.  
Having won the first two matches, and losing the third, the Irish were up against Watertown-Mayer in their last match, playing for third place.
Maple Lake took the first game with a score of 25-21.  
“Watertown-Mayer brought us a great match and our team responded well defensively when they made small runs,” said Kiebel.  
Keeping their defense strong, they were also able to win the second match 25-20, earning third place in the tournament.
Kiebel said it was a good opening to the Irish volleyball season.
“Continued improvement each practice and match is a key objective for our program this year,” Kiebel said, “and I felt like we kept that a priority throughout the tournament.”
     Serv. Kills SA Digs
B. Decker 26/39 13   75     18
L. Pingel       30/34 -     1       27
J. Holm           -           2     2     -
R. Latour       26/30 1     -   10
D. Hudek         -         10   1       1
S. Knott         23/27 19   -     5
E. Bryant       -         2   3     -
S. Rachel     20/21 32   3   35
C. Knott     30/37 -   1     13
J. Puncochar -       20   -     2
Irish at Monticello
Tuesday, August 31, brought the Irish to Monticello for a non-conference match against the Magic.
With the start of the first game, Maple Lake knew that Monticello was a veteran team that played the game at a high pace.  However, the Irish were able to make smart plays on the court and won game one with a score of 25-19.
After switching sides on the court, the Irish hoped to pull off another win over the Magic in game two. The game came down to the wire with neither team having enough of a lead to end the game at 25. Although the Irish put up a strong fight, Monticello took game two with a score of 25-27.
Shaking off the loss in game two, the Irish came back with strong defense in the third game.  
“I felt our back row defense really moved to keep balls off the floor,” said Head Coach Marty Kiebel.  With a score of 25-20, Maple Lake won game three.
Determined to not let the match go into a fifth game, the Irish made smart plays in game four to keep the lead. With the game getting close near the end, Maple Lake pulled ahead and won the game 25-22, ending the match.
“I was very pleased how the players responded under a high-pressure situation and unfamiliar territory. We definitely got better and that has been our goal since the start of the year; improvement with every given opportunity,” said Kiebel.
With the Irish now 4-1, they traveled to Watertown-Mayer September 7, and will face the Eagles on Thursday, September 9, at Eden Valley-Watkins High School at 7:30 p.m.
Serv. Kills SA Digs
B. Decker       12/17 1       28   13
L. Pingel         20/22 -       -       12
J. Holm           -         -     1     -
R. Latour       10/14 -     -       7
D. Hudek         -       2     -     3
S. Knott       11/12 6   -     2
E. Bryant       -       2     -       1
S. Rachel     13/13 15   -     9
C. Knott       12/15 -     -       6
S. Knudsen     -       -     -       -
J. Puncochar   -       9   1     1
by Ashley Hertwig
Kicking off the 2010 season, the Irish made their first appearance at the Albany Early Bird Tournament on Friday, August 27.  
“This is our seventh year attending the Albany Early Bird Tournament,” said Head Coach Marty Kiebel. “It has always been a great way for our program to get a jump-start on the season, and we are able to see what is working and what isn’t at this stage of the season.” 
Starting off the day, the Irish faced Park Rapids.  
“I saw our team make some nervous mistakes, which is typical the first match of the season,” said Kiebel.  
Even with a couple mistakes, the Irish were able to pull off a close win 25-23 for the first game.  Getting over first-game jitters, Maple Lake won the second game as well, this time with a score of 25-19.
Next up, Maple Lake played Little Falls. Just like Park Rapids, the first game against Little Falls was close but the Irish pulled off a 25-21 win. Switching sides for the second game, the Irish girls were able to keep the ball off the ground and took another win 25-17.  
“When we stepped on the court against a better Little Falls team, we rose to the occasion and lifted our playing level as well,” said Kiebel.
Moving on to the third match of the day, the Irish faced Albany.  The first game proved that Albany would be a tough team to beat as they won 14-25 over the Irish.  However, Maple Lake wasn’t about to give up and they came back in the second game with a 25-19 win.  
“Albany returns many starters from last season and it was great for us to come back and win game two,” said Kiebel.  
The Irish found themselves in a pressure situation in a deciding game three, and although they put forth their best effort, Albany won 15-10.  
Having won the first two matches, and losing the third, the Irish were up against Watertown-Mayer in their last match, playing for third place.
Maple Lake took the first game with a score of 25-21.  
“Watertown-Mayer brought us a great match and our team responded well defensively when they made small runs,” said Kiebel.  
Keeping their defense strong, they were also able to win the second match 25-20, earning third place in the tournament.
Kiebel said it was a good opening to the Irish volleyball season.
“Continued improvement each practice and match is a key objective for our program this year,” Kiebel said, “and I felt like we kept that a priority throughout the tournament.”
Irish at Monticello
Tuesday, August 31, brought the Irish to Monticello for a non-conference match against the Magic.
With the start of the first game, Maple Lake knew that Monticello was a veteran team that played the game at a high pace.  However, the Irish were able to make smart plays on the court and won game one with a score of 25-19.
More information and stats appears in this week's Messenger.
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