Panthers stun the Knights

Published 10:28 pm Thursday, October 26, 2017

NRHEG volleyball upsets Alden-Conger to advance in section tourney

ALDEN — The Alden-Conger volleyball team hosted NRHEG in the second round of the Section 2A tournament Thursday night. In an energy packed gym, the Panthers upset the Knights in five sets to advance to the section quarterfinals.

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Both teams came out to a hot start in the first set, as there was never more than three points separating the teams until the last moments, when NRHEG pulled away to win the opening set, 25-19.

It seemed like the Knights had found their groove in the second set. They jumped out to a five-point lead right away in the set. They would control the rest of the second set, never letting the Panthers within closing distance. The Knights won the second set, 25-15.

The third set returned to the back-and-forth style of the first set. Both teams exchanged the lead numerous times in the early portion of the set. Once again, NRHEG was able to pull away at the end of the set to win it, 25-20.

Down two sets to one, the Knights knew they needed to win the fourth to keep their section hopes alive. The set was much like the previous one, with both teams giving everything they had to try and top each other. After being tied at 20 points, the Knights pulled away and won the set, 25-21, and evened the sets at two each.

The gym was electric for the fifth and final set. Both student sections were on their feet in hopes of cheering their teams to victory. Despite a close battle early, NRHEG was able to gain the upper hand and stun Alden-Conger in the fifth set, 15-8, giving the Panthers the win overall, 3-2.

Both teams came to play Thursday night, but it was the hard hitting Panthers that ultimately won the battle. The kills of juniors Olivia Christopherson, Kylie Arndt, Alexis Anderson and senior Kelly Harden rarely missed their mark for the Panthers as they edged out the victory.

Alden-Conger finished the season 22-5, but will only lose one senior and will look to be a better, more-experienced squad next year.

NRHEG improves to 11-16 on the season and will play again on Tuesday in St. Peter against the No. 2 seed St. Clair.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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