Tigers continue to make progress but no result

Published 2:08 am Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The victories have been few and far between for the Albert Lea volleyball team this season, but the signs of progress are certainly evident.

The Tigers’ match Tuesday with Mankato East reflected how the season has gone, another loss, but evidence of growth is visible.

Albert Lea (6-17) was able to take a set from the Cougars in Albert Lea in a 3-1 loss, but it could have been more.

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The Tigers won just two matches all last season and took just one set from a Big Nine opponent. This season Albert Lea has a tournament victory over Austin and has taken sets from two conference opponents. Small, but appreciable progress for head coach Jamie Mauseth.

“I think there were tons of positives,” Mauseth said following the 25-18, 20-25, 25-20, 25-16 loss to the Cougars.

Albert Lea came from behind in the second set and closed out a victory, something the team has worked on throughout this season.

“The second game was really great for us because we came from behind,” Mauseth said. “I was really proud of them for finishing off that second game and getting it done.”

The Tiger defense had to contend with Mankato East’s Hallie Enderle, a 6-foot-1 hitter who demonstrated her abilities very quickly with a booming kill for the game’s first point.

But Albert Lea found a way to defend against her and the rest of the Cougars. Caylee Tennis had 16 digs and Courtney Schnaith added 15.

“I think they had some amazing digs tonight,” Mauseth said. “I just think my girls were being really scrappy tonight and pulling for everything they could.”

The Tigers got nine kills from Kristine Kelly and seven from Bethany Sekora in the match,

Albert Lea led through the early part of the third set and weathered an East flurry to close within four points, despite being down five points at 20-15.

The Tigers travel to Rochester to face John Marshall Thursday.