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Girls Volleyball: New Life Academy stays perfect in conference, East Ridge falls to Stillwater

 After a hard loss at Stillwater on Tuesday, East Ridge had two celebrations on Thursday night.

The first was senior night as the Raptors celebrated four seniors and their commitment to the program and the culture around the volleyball team. The second was a win against Forest Lake to end the regular season with a win and confidence heading into sections.

"These four girls aren't just talented volleyball players, but they are great people outside of volleyball too," head coach Steve Anderson said of Gabi Izen, Stephanie Barber, Kate Reimann and Maddie Knupp. "They are helping with creating the culture we want in this program. They will be missed next year, but they will do great things in the future."

It was a back-and-forth match on Thursday as East Ridge won the first set 25-21, but Forest Lake took the second set 25-20. The Raptors took the third set 26-24 and Forest Lake came back to win the fourth set 25-22.

It came down to the fifth and final set to determine a winner in this top-15 matchup. East Ridge kept fighting and eventually won the fifth set 17-15 to earn the key win to end their regular season.

"This was a big win for us especially coming back from the Stillwater loss," Reimann said. "This will hopefully give us confidence heading into section play."

East Ridge will have a handful of invitationals and scrimmages leading into the section tournament since the Raptors have about a week and a half before their first section match.

Even though it's a long period of time, nothing will change for East Ridge has they prepare for the postseason.

"I think the invitationals will help us prepare for sections," Barber said. "We will use our past experiences in the tournament to prepare ourselves for this year's section tournament."

New Life Academy 3, Spectrum 0

The Eagles took an early lead and never looked back on Thursday night. New Life swept Spectrum 3-0 to improve its record to 17-8 on the season.

The Eagles won the first set 25-4, won the second set 25-14 and won the third set 25-20. New Life has one more regular season match at Concordia Academy-Roseville at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

Park 3, White Bear Lake 0

The Wolfpack earned its first conference win this season as they swept White Bear Lake on Thursday night.

Park will host Woodbury on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. to wrap up its regular season before section play starts the following week.


New Life Academy 3, St. Croix Prep 0

In one of New Life Academy's biggest conference matches of the season, the Eagles swept St. Croix Prep with a final score of 3-0. New Life won the first set 25-9 and won the second and third sets with the same score of 25-21.

This win keeps the Eagles conference record perfect at 8-0 and puts their regular season record up to 16-8. New Life has two more regular season matches before section play.

The Eagles will host Spectrum at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11 and will head to Concordia Academy-Roseville on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 6:30 p.m.

Stillwater 3, East Ridge 1

It was a big volleyball match between Stillwater and East Ridge as both were ranked in the top 10 in the state heading into the match on Tuesday night.

Both teams were also undefeated in conference play making this match a needed win to possibly take home the Suburban East Conference title.

After losing at East Ridge last season, Stillwater made its revenge and won this season at their home court with a 3-1 final. The Ponies took the first and second sets with a 25-21 and 25-20 final scores.

The Raptors came back in the third set to make it a 2-1 match with a 25-22 final score, but Stillwater came back in the fourth set to win 25-22 to win the overall match.


Simley 3, Park 0

After a rough first set that resulted in a 25-12 win for Simley, Park fought back in the second and third sets but couldn't come out with the win. The Wolfpack finished the second set in a 28-26 loss and a third set that ended in a 25-18 loss resulting in a sweep for Simley.

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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