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Tigers fall to Panthers

The Albert Lea volleyball team hosted its first match with fans allowed to be in attendance Monday night when Rochester Century came to town.

Despite small comeback attempts in all three of the sets against the Panthers, the Tigers fell into holes that were too big to crawl out of, falling 3-0.

The Tigers fell behind quickly in the first set 6-2 due to some small mistakes that allowed for the Panthers to find the floor with numerous kills. However, they made a nice comeback to tie the game 8-8.

A battle over the next few points put the score at 11-10 in favor of the Panthers. After that point, the Tigers struggled to find a way to beat a short serve used by one of the Panthers  to go on a long run of unanswered points. Eventually the Tigers figured it out, but by that time the Panthers had pulled too far ahead, ending the set on a 14-3 run and winning it 25-13.

The Panthers opened the second set with another large run that put the Tigers in a tough spot to come back from. After being on the wrong end of a 11-1 run to start the set, the Tigers did manage to cut the gap to just five points. But like the first set, the deficit was too much and the Tigers dropped their second set 25-16.

Down two sets to none, the Tigers desperately needed to put something together to extend the match.  However, the Panthers again pulled ahead early and at one point led 13-5. The Tigers again battled back to close the lead to two at 15-13, but the Panthers offense proved to be too much again. The Tigers played their closest set of the match, but still came up short 25-17.

The Tigers played aggressive offense and played with power at the net. They just had a tough time putting the ball in the spots where the Panthers weren’t.

Senior Carissa Nelson had a nice night as a setter, putting her teammates in positions for numerous kills, while also picking up some kills herself. Juniors Annika Veldman and Jordan Juveland also had stellar nights at the net.

The Tigers move to 0-3 on the season and will play again Tuesday when they travel to Rochester to take on the 0-1 Rockets of John Marshall.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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