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Tigers unable to bounce back

Albert Lea's Camryn Keyeski digs the ball Thursday against Faribault at Albert Lea. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea’s Camryn Keyeski digs the ball Thursday against Faribault at Albert Lea. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea falls by 2 points in game 1; Faribault completes sweep

After posting its second Big Nine Conference win of the season against Rochester John Marshall, the Albert Lea volleyball team dropped its second consecutive conference matchup.

A two-point loss in Game 1 for the Tigers spiralled into a 3-0 sweep for Faribault Thursday at Albert Lea.

Game scores were 25-23, 25-18 and 25-18.

“The girls care so much about wanting to give their best for the team that when they make a mistake they kind of get down on themselves individually, and that affects the whole team dynamic,” said Albert Lea coach Jamie Cameron. “We need to be able to overcome that mentally and always look forward.”

At the net for the Tigers, Julia Deyak had a team-high 10 kills with eight digs and two ace serves. After missing Tuesday’s game at Red Wing with a fever, she was a welcome addition to the lineup, Cameron said.

Paige Landsman led Albert Lea with 14 assists; Kassandra Jansen added seven.

Defensively, Tigers libero Bethany Tennis posted a team-high 14 digs; Camryn Keyeski had 11.

Allison Grandstrand led Albert Lea with three blocks.

Cameron said his team’s tip coverage needs to improve.

“We pretty much shut down their middles, but when they couldn’t swing they were tipping the ball over, and we weren’t covering well tonight.”

Albert Lea (2-9, 2-5 Big Nine) and Faribault (10-13, 4-3 Big Nine) split their last two matches. The Falcons won 3-0 in 2014, and the Tigers won 3-1 in 2013. Faribault and Albert Lea played once each year since Minnesota-Scores.net began keeping a record in 2005, and the Tigers’ 2013 victory was their only win during that span.

In the 12-team conference standings, Albert Lea is 10th and Faribault is sixth.

In Section 1AAA, Albert Lea is 11th out of 12 teams and is ranked No. 84 in Minnesota-Scores.net’s Quality Results Formula polls.

Next, the Tigers will compete at a tournament at Apple Valley at a time that has not been announced on Saturday.

Albert Lea has one more regular-season home match this season against Mankato West at 7 p.m. next Thursday. The Scarlets (7-6, 3-3 Big Nine) swept their last two opponents: Rochester Century (12-2, 5-2 Big Nine) and Red Wing (4-9, 2-5 Big Nine).