With the regular season over, the Maple Lake High School volleyball team went into their first playoff game on Thursday, October 28, with a different mindset: knowing they had to beat the Becker Bulldogs or the 2010 season would be over.
Having defeated Becker earlier in the season, the Irish were trying not to be too confident when they gained an early lead in the first game. However, when they came out of the first game with a 25-16 win, they couldn’t help but be excited.
On a gorgeous October night, before a huge Homecoming crowd, the Maple Lake Irish went to the field to do a little thrashing of the corn. Maple Lake defeated the Holdingford Huskers 18-7 to move their record to 5-1 (4-1 CMC) and solidify their number-one seeding in Section 4AA.
The Irish received the opening kick and started play on their own 38-yard line. Maple Lake ran to a couple of quick first downs, but a holding call helped short-change the drive and they were forced to punt.
On a cool, crisp, clear October evening the Irish gridders traveled west to Jaguar country to take on Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa in Central Minnesota Conference action. The locals came home with a hard-fought, penalty-filled, 21-6 victory to move their season record to 4-1.
On Maple Lake’s first series of downs it took only three plays to get on the board. On a third-and-five Cam Knudsen hit Brian Redemske on a pass and he sprinted 89 yards to pay dirt. The kick was good by Forrest Coughlin and the Irish jumped out to an early 7-0 lead.
Tuesday, September 28, the Irish volleyball squad loaded the bus with the destination set for Becker, looking for an easy win against the Becker Bulldogs.
The Irish went into the first game confident that they would get the win, but were surprised when the Bulldogs barely let the Irish get a lead. After a battle for the lead, Maple Lake pulled off a win in game one with a score of 25-20.
On a cool, wet, sloppy Friday evening, the Irish invaded Eagle territory to kick off CMC play for the 2010 season. This game had a somewhat big build-up as both teams have been mentioned as a conference favorite this year. The game, however, did not live up to the hype as Eden Valley-Watkins and its stingy defense shut out the Irish 28-0 in the mud.
When the final bell rang at 2:55 p.m. on Sept. 7 after the first day of school, the Irish volleyball players’ minds switched from school mode to volleyball mode as they got on the bus heading to Watertown-Mayer.
Game one started out well with the Irish making good plays. However, Watertown-Mayer was able to keep close to Maple Lake, but the Irish pulled off a 25-21 win.