Getting back into the routine of school, the final bell rang and let the students out of class. Among those students were the Irish volleyball players who hosted their first after school game, and first conference game, against the Eden Valley-Watkins Eagles on Thursday September 8.
Waking up early in the morning for tournaments is the price to pay in order to be gain experience and confidence for a volleyball team. On Friday, August 26, the Maple Lake Irish volleyball team stepped off the bus in Albany and prepared for the competition ahead of them.
First to face the Irish was Minnewaska, followed by Watertown, Little Falls and finally Albany for the championship.
Despite the hot weather and humidity on September 1, the Maple Lake Irish cross country team hosted the 2011 Irish Invitational at Ney Park. Although the heat was an obstacle, the athletes managed to push through and perform a solid first meet.
Cross country at Maple Lake High School is now rivaling football in terms of the number of participants. A big jump of 20 additional students makes 62 athletes who will compete on this year’s junior high through varsity boys’ and girls’ squads.
The six seniors who will provide team leadership are Michael Thomas, Kevin Salveson, Jake Johnson, Laura Wagner, Kayla Sturm and Savannah Goelz.
While students take pleasure in soaking up the sun and sleeping in on weekdays during their last days of summer, hitting the snooze was not an option for the Maple Lake Irish volleyball program. Starting on August 15, they said hello to their 7 a.m. alarm buzzer and headed for the track to begin the 2011 volleyball season.
It was an amazing playoff run and a successful start to state tournament action with a 6-0 win over Dumont in round one on August 20, but the bubble finally burst on August 26 at Veterans Memorial Field in Hutchinson. The New Prague Orioles of the D-R-S (Dakota-Rice-Scott) League took advantage of 13 hits and a couple of Laker errors to eliminate Maple Lake by the score of 8-3. When the Lakers went ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning, things were looking good, but the team put only one run on the board during the rest of the game.
Adding two more wins to their undefeated record in region play, the Maple Lake Lakers are advancing to the State Tournament with the number-one seed.
Lakers vs. Loretto
A loss in the Thursday, Aug. 11, game against the Loretto Larks would have put the Lakers in the loser’s bracket where they would have had to continuously win in order to advance to state, but losing was never on their agenda.