ALHS spikers bounce back

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 28, 2002

After a lopsided, 3-0 season-opening loss at Byron, Albert Lea High School volleyball coach Gina Eppen sensed her players felt they had something to prove on their home court.

And they sent their fans home happy.

The Tigers rebounded from Monday’s defeat to shut out Southland in the home opener, winning 15-7, 15-1, 15-6 at ALHS Tuesday night.

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&uot;Southland kind of looked like we did last night,&uot; said Eppen, who was Southland’s head coach before coming to Albert Lea last year. &uot;They had some problems with communication, some first-game jitters. I was pleased our girls played their own game and didn’t play to the level of their opponents. I think they felt they had some things to prove after last night. It was nice to be able to do that at home.&uot;

And everyone got to play and, according to Eppen, contribute to the win.

The Tigers continued their outstanding serving, going 59-for-62 for 95 percent, with 19 aces.

Probably the biggest factor, though, was back-row play.

&uot;The big statistic tonight is we improved our passing,&uot; said Eppen. &uot;We felt if we could improve our passing the rest of the stats would go up, and it happened.&uot;

The Tigers totaled 19 kills, nine more than Monday.

Whitney Sorenson again led the Tigers, getting seven kills, six service aces and four blocks.

Other statistical leaders: Ashley Chrz, three kills, six set assists, two aces; Leah Boyer, five aces, two blocks, six assists; Amber Edwards, two kills, one block, two assists; Erin Thompson, three kills; Danielle Rankin, two assists, one kill.

&uot;Erin Thompson played a much-improved game tonight,&uot; said Eppen. &uot;And Danielle Rankin’s passing game was on tonight.&uot;

The Tigers are off until next Tuesday, when they face United South Central for parents night.