ALHS spikers can’t hold off Waseca

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 29, 2003

WASECA &045; Unlike Tuesday’s season opener at Southland, there were no first-game jitters for the Albert Lea High School volleyball team.

That didn’t happen until the second game.

And, again unlike Tuesday, this time the Tigers couldn’t shake them.

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Albert Lea won the first game at Waseca but that was it in a 3-1 nonconference loss Thursday. The final in favor of the Bluejays was 15-25, 25-11, 25-20, 25-18.

&uot;It was much more competitive than last year, when they beat us 3-0,&uot; said Tigers coach Gina Eppen. &uot;We showed up tonight.&uot;

Especially in the first game.

&uot;We looked awesome in game one,&uot; said Eppen.

The Tigers took the lead in the second game, but a combination of Albert Lea hitting errors and some strong spikes by Waseca’s middle hitter turned the tide.

&uot;I think our girls started to lose confidence in their hitting a little bit in the second game,&uot; said Eppen. &uot;Waseca started to play a little harder, and they earned their points. When their big hitter was on the bench, we did better. When she was on the court, we had trouble. We had trouble with her last year too.&uot;

The Tigers’ statistical leaders Thursday: Amber Edwards, four blocks, one ace, seven kills, seven digs; Katie Brackey, one kill, seven assists, 16 digs, one ace; Jenna Brackey, two kills, seven assists, one ace, 31 digs; Emily Bartusek, seven kills, five assists, 18 digs; Danielle Rankin, five kills, 21 digs, one ace; and Heather Stegenga, two kills, 18 digs, one block.

The Tigers travel to United South Central Tuesday for another nonconference match.