Tigers unable to hold off West

Published 4:07 am Friday, September 19, 2008

The Albert Lea volleyball team showed spurts of strong play Thursday night against Mankato West in a 3-0 loss, but couldn’t sustain the effort throughout.

The Tigers lost 15-25, 22-25, 16-25 and had the Scarlets on the ropes in the second game. Albert Lea led 22-19, but Mankato West came back for six unanswered points for the win.

“We didn’t close the door,” Tigers head coach Lisa Deyak said. “We just needed to put three points down and we weren’t able to do that. Part of that, honestly, is that we haven’t been in the winning position enough this year to close it.”

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Albert Lea had trouble finding an offensive rhythm early in the first game and the Scarlets took advantage. After grabbing a 11-10 lead, Mankato West went on a 14-4 run to close out the first game.

The Tigers looked more comfortable in game two and their play improved drastically, but they were unable to hold on in the end as the Scarlets stormed back for the win.

West dominated the third game despite a rally by Albert Lea late and won 25-16.

The Tigers displayed an improved defense on the evening and made several blocks at the net.

“We had much better defense in games two and three than we’ve had in a long time,” Deyak said.

Nichelle Klatt led the Tigers with six kills and Emily Peterson had four kills.

Caylee Tennis had seven digs and Courtney Schnaith added six for Albert Lea in the loss.

The Tigers travel to Rochester Saturday to face John Marshall.