Albert Lea’s Kassi Hardies gets a hand on a spike from Austin’s Kristine Snyder in Game 1 of their match Friday night in Austin. Hardies had two blocks. — Eric Johnson/Albert Lea Tribune
Albert Lea’s Kassi Hardies gets a hand on a spike from Austin’s Kristine Snyder in Game 1 of their match Friday night in Austin. Hardies had two blocks. — Eric Johnson/Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea overcomes slow start to win season opener

Published 7:57am Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Albert Lea volleyball team began its season Friday with a 3-1 win at Austin.

Albert Lea's Annie Ladwig serves in game one of the Tigers' match against Austin Friday night in Austin. — Eric Johnson/Albert Lea Tribune
Albert Lea’s Annie Ladwig serves in Game 1 of the Tigers’ match against Austin Friday night in Austin. — Eric Johnson/Albert Lea Tribune

The Tigers dropped Game 1 25-23 after a shaky start. However, Albert Lea settled down and found its groove in Game 2 to tie the match, Lisa Deyak said in her seventh non-consecutive season as head coach.

“We started off nervous,” Deyak said. “Even though we scrimmaged, it’s different with the game jerseys on. But, we responded well in the second game.”

The Tigers finished off the Packers with a 25-16 win in Game 3 and a 25-10 win in Game 4.

Albert Lea's Julia Deyak spikes during game one of the Tigers' match against Austin Friday night in Austin. — Eric Johnson/Albert Lea Tribune
Albert Lea’s Julia Deyak spikes during Game 1 of the Tigers’ match against Austin Friday night in Austin. — Eric Johnson/Albert Lea Tribune

Senior Bryn Woodside led Albert Lea at the setter position with 31 assists, while freshman right-side hitter Julia Deyak and senior middle hitter Annie Ladwig tied with a team-high 11 kills.

Junior outside hitter Taylor Willis led the Tigers defensively at the net with three blocks.

Last season, Albert Lea finished with an 11-17 overall record, including a 3-0 win at Austin.

Next, the Tigers play at Southland at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday.