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Girls Volleyball: East Ridge sweeps Woodbury in rivalry match

Freshman Emma Slusser (left) and senior Chloe Cordell (right) work together to try and block the Mounds View hitter. Park fell to Mounds View in a 3-0 final on Tuesday night. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 4
Kate Reimann hits the ball over the Woodbury blockers for a point. East Ridge sweeps Woodbury 3-0 on Thursday night. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 4
Stephanie Barber watches the ball land over the net for a point against Woodbury. East Ridge sweeps Woodbury 3-0 on Thursday night. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia 3 / 4
Freshman Emma Slusser hits the ball over the Mounds View blockers for a kill. Park lost 3-0 to Mounds View on Tuesday night. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia 4 / 4

Thursday night

East Ridge 3, Woodbury 0

The East Ridge High School gym was filled with Raptor and Royal fans in a city rivalry as the two volleyball teams took center stage on Thursday night.

The student sections were chanting for their respective teams and the volleyball players were reacting to every point earned for their team.

In the end, the Raptors and their fans were able to cheer a little bit louder as East Ridge swept Woodbury in three straight sets.

"This was a great atmosphere for the two teams heading into section play," said East Ridge head coach Steve Anderson. "This will hopefully prepare us for what the gyms will be like during the section tournament."

The first couple sets were points earned by each team and both coaches agreed that the defenses and offenses didn't give up a point easily. The defenses were very strong for both teams and that's what each of the coaches were hoping for at the end of the season.

Especially, leading into section play in a couple of weeks.

"It's always important to have a strong defense," said assistant coach Pam Sullivan. "Our girls have been working hard on defense and it's showing towards the end of season and hopefully the section tournament."

The first two sets were back-and-forth with some long rallies between the two teams, but East Ridge was able to find a few more locations on the floor to earn the kill. The Raptors took the first two sets 25-17 and 25-10 with the last set being won by East Ridge in a 25-12 final.

"We've been doing a great job at practice with understanding each other's play styles," said sophomore Raptor Faith Saewert. "We're just happy it's starting to show at the most important time of the season."

Woodbury has three more matches left on the regular season with two of them being on the road. The Royals will look to earn those three wins and head into section play with momentum.

East Ridge has only two matches left in the regular season and they are against two of the toughest teams in the conference. The first match will be on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at Stillwater where both teams are undefeated in conference play heading into the match.

Then, the Raptors will host Forest Lake on Thursday, Oct. 11 to try and capture another conference title before heading into section play a couple weeks from now.

"Next week are two really important matches for us and we need to focus on one match at a time," said sophomore Raptor Jadyn Garrison. "It'll be important to win those games to not only capture the conference title, but to gain momentum for the section tournament."

Roseville 3, Park 0

The Wolfpack was swept by Roseville on Thursday night after a first set 25-16 final, a second set 25-13 final and a third set 25-22 final.

Park will play four more matches in the regular season before section play. The Wolfpack will play Simley on Monday, Oct. 8, Bloomington Kennedy on Tuesday, Oct. 9 and at White Bear Lake on Thursday, Oct. 11.

Tuesday night

Mounds View 3, Park 0

The gym was filled with pink as Mounds View and Park showed its support for breast cancer awareness month. There were pink socks, pink headbands and pink t-shirts.

Once the game started, there was some fight between the two teams but Mounds View finished off the night with a three-set sweep over the Wolfpack.

"We have to get our hitting percentages up and that's one thing we missed tonight," said head coach Kristina Jameson. "We'll look at some things in practice and make sure these girls are ready to go for the last part of the season."

The Wolfpack had many hitters in the negative percentage for hitting on Tuesday night. There were many balls landing out of bounds instead of recording kills, which hurt Park in each of the sets.

The sets were close, but Mounds View was able to come out with the small edge each set for the sweep. The first set ended in a 25-19 final, while the second set ended 25-11. The third set took extra points as Mounds View won 26-24.

"All of the players were looking forward to this match because we're friends with many of the Mounds View players," said sophomore libero Natalia Ehnstrom. "It was a big rivalry between the two teams."

Ehnstrom has been on the team before and understands the process of the regular season. She said the team has grown so much from last season to this season, but there's still room for improvement.

She also added that the team just needs to practice hard each day leading up to section play because that's the most important time of the season.

"You have to win in sections to keep your season alive," Ehnstrom said. "That's the mentality when you reach section play."

The Wolfpack will have five matches left in the regular season with three of them being at home. During that time, Jameson is hoping to see the team become more scrappy as a team.

Park will head to Roseville at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4. After that match, the Wolfpack will play three matches the following week before ending the season on Tuesday, Oct. 16 against Woodbury.

"Our goal as a team was to be one of the most scrappy teams in the conference," Jameson said. "We've gone away from that mentality right now and our goal these next few matches is to find that style before section play starts. These girls are great and continue fighting for every point."

East Ridge 3, Cretin-Derham Hall 0

The Raptors were in complete control on Tuesday night as they finished a three-set sweep over Cretin-Derham Hall. It started with a 25-17 win for East Ridge in the first set followed by a 25-12 win in the second set. The third set was all Raptors with a 25-8 final.

East Ridge will take its 13-6 record and, currently, first place standing in the Suburban East Conference heading into the last couple weeks of regular season play. The next match on the Raptors' schedule is at home against rival Woodbury at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4.

New Life Academy 3, Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity 0

New Life Academy had no problem on Tuesday night as the Eagles swept Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity in three straight sets. The win improved New Life's record to 13-6 on the season and a perfect 8-0 record in the conference.

The night started with a 25-8 win in the first set for the Eagles and the second and third sets finished in a 25-10 final. New Life will try to hold the lead in the conference with three matches left in the regular season. The next match is at home against St. Croix Prep at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Brian Mozey

I am the sports writer for the Woodbury Bulletin and South Washington County Bulletin. I'm a graduate from the Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Iowa State University and have always had a passion for sports since a young age. Whether it was watching or playing sports, I always knew sports would be in my career. I've been born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis and look forward to continuing to learn more about the Woodbury and Cottage Grove area throughout my time in this position. 

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