Stellar play all around leads Knights to big victory

Published 9:25 pm Tuesday, October 5, 2021

ALDEN — The Alden-Conger volleyball team entered its match against Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial Tuesday night riding a seven-match win streak not including tournament play. The streak dates back to the Knights’ season opener when they were taken down by the Panthers of NRHEG.

The streak showed no signs of being broken Tuesday as Alden-Conger dominated in nearly all facets of the game, easily taking down Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial in straight sets, 3-0.

It was clear from early in the first set, the Knights would have no weaknesses on the floor throughout the match, as senior Madyson Stein and junior McKenzie Wasmoen set the tone with two early kills each, leading the Knights out to a 13-6 lead and forcing LC-WM to call a timeout.

The timeout did little to curb the momentum of the Knights as they came out of the break and went on a 12-4 run to handily win the first set, 25-10. Senior Mallory Ignaszewski came on strong after the timeout, recording four kills and one ace by the end of the set. Sophomore Cearra Grunzke also got in on the action with two kills in the set.

The second set was much the same as the first. With both teams trading the opening points. Stein took the set into her own hands, going on a 9-0 serving run that put the Knights on top 11-2.

Stellar play by senior libero Hailey Schmidt and solid blocking at the net from Wasmoen and junior Brooke Soost were big factors in the effort. A timeout was called by LC-WM, but the Knights had all the momentum on their side, going on a 14-8 run to close out the second set and win 25-10.

At the end of the set, Ignaszewski had six kills and one ace, while Stein was right behind with five kills and two aces.

The third set was the narrowest in the final score, but it wasn’t by much. LC-WM kept it close in the early portion but another long serving streak from Stein all but shored up the victory for the Knights. This scoring run lasted for eight straight points and was aided again by some spectacular digs from Schmidt, the set up play by sophomore Ellen Merkouis and some hard hitting by Ignaszewski and Grunzke. The Knights went on to win the third and final set, 25-11.

The Knights improve to 14-4 overall this season and 6-0 in the Valley East Conference.

They will be back on the court Thursday when they travel to St. Clair to take on the Cyclones in another conference matchup.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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