Volleyball: East Ridge, New Life continue the winning streak

Body: 

Thursday night 

East Ridge 3, Rosemount 0

The Raptors continued the sweeping from Tuesday into Thursday with a 3-0 win over Rosemount. The night started with a 25-14 win in the first set, which translated to a 25-19 win in the second set. The match ended with a 25-20 third set win to sweep the Irish and improve the Raptors record to 3-2 on the season. 

East Ridge will travel for the next two matches with Champlin Park on Tuesday, September 11 and Mounds View on Thursday, September 13. 

New Life Academy 3, West Lutheran 0

The sweep on Thursday night gives the Eagles a 4-0 record to start the 2018 season. New Life was in control the entire match with a 25-15 first set win, 25-14 second set win and 25-10 third set win. 

The Eagles will stay at home for the next two matches against Minneapolis Washburn on Tuesday, September 11 and Maranatha on Thursday, September 13. 


Tuesday night 

East Ridge 3, Centennial 0

It was all smiles for the East Ridge Raptors girls volleyball team as they were going through warm-ups and singing to the songs on their pregame playlist.

The smiles continued in the first, second and third sets of the actual match. The 3-0 sweep by the Raptors over the Centennial Cougars allowed the East Ridge players to show that smile more while they were cleaning up and heading home from the one-hour match.

"Even though it wasn't the outcome we wanted against Lakeville North," said senior setter Stephanie Barber as East Ridge lost to Lakeville North in five sets last Thursday. "We gained some confidence from that match and I think it led into tonight."

The Raptors only allowed three sets tonight, but it was a tale of many different sets. The first set started off strong with a key combination between Barber and senior outside hitter Kate Reimann.

It was a common theme to see the No. 8 jersey flying through the air in the first set as East Ridge earned the victory with a 25-14 final score. Reimann had a game high 15 kills, while Barber had 35 assists and 10 digs on Tuesday night.

"[Kate and I] have played together since freshman year including the club season too," Reimann said. "We know how to play together and it allows us to have a better connection on the court."

After a strong first set win, the Raptors fell off a little bit in the second set. They were losing to Centennial by five or six points halfway through the set, but East Ridge found a way to battle back and earn a 25-19 second set win.

Head coach Steve Anderson said the team played sloppy, in his eyes, with a lot of mistakes that will hurt a volleyball team in conference play and later in the playoffs. Even though it might not have gone to plan, Anderson was happy with how the girls fought through the mistakes and came out with the victory.

Since East Ridge had control of the match the majority of the night, Anderson was able to throw in a few younger players. Anderson, Barber and Reimann agreed that it was great to see the younger players step up when they were in the game and contribute at a high level throughout the evening.

"It's always fun to see these girls play in their first varsity match," Anderson said. "I remember my first game in high school, so hopefully it sticks in their mind for a long time."

The combination between the younger players and the starters allowed East Ridge to win the third set easily with a 25-12 final score. This match was an opportunity for the Raptors to try new lineups and to try new formations.

Barber and Reimann said that some of them worked, while others will need to be changed for conference play. East Ridge will host Rosemount on Thursday, September 6, before heading over to Champlin Park to play the second ranked Rebels on Tuesday, September 11.

"It was good to see some of the things we practiced become a reality in the match," Barber said. "Now, we need to focus in practice because the upcoming teams are tough opponents."

New Life Academy 3, PACT Charter 0

The Eagles started Tuesday night's match with a close first set, but ended in a 25-20 victory. Once the first set was complete, New Life took full control of the match with a 25-6 second set win and a 25-10 third set win to sweep PACT Charter and continue its undefeated season with a 3-0 record. 

The Eagles will head to West Lutheran on Thursday, September 6 at 7 p.m. to continue their winning streak. On Tuesday, September 11, New Life will return home and host Minneapolis Washburn. 

Park 3, South St. Paul 1

The Wolfpack opened up the season against South St. Paul on Tuesday night and captured their first win of the season as well. It took four sets for Park to come out 1-0 to start the season.

The first two sets were similar as both sets had a final of 25-13 and went to the Wolfpack to earn a 2-0 lead early. Then, the third set went to South St. Paul with a 25-16 final score.

Park came battling back in the fourth set and won 25-20 to earn a 3-1 win on Tuesday night. Hannah Olson served seven aces in the match, while Natalia Ehnstrom had 13 digs and Mackenzie Husaby finished the night with 10 kills.

The Wolfpack will head to Hastings on Tuesday, September 11 at 7 p.m. before returning back home to host Forest Lake on Tuesday, September 18.