Despite dropping the first set the Lakeview Lakers rallied to defeat visiting Redwood Valley 3-1 Aug. 22 in the non-conference season opener for both schools.
The Cardinals (0-1) pulled away from an 18-18 tie in game one to earn a 25-23 victory and an early 1-0 lead.
The Lakers (1-0) would then answer in game two by claiming seven of the final nine points to take the set 25-18 and tie the score at one apiece. Lakeview would take set three 25-20 and then pulled away from a 19-19 tie in game four to win 25-20 and close out the match.
Haley Garman paced the Cardinals with 12 kills, four digs, two ace blocks and was 7-for-7 serving.
Sydney Sommers added 11 kills, 16 digs, a set assist and an ace block.
Hannah Schjenken led the team with 17 set assists, six digs, two kills, an ace block and was a perfect 14-for-14 from the service line.
Aubree Hicks added 16 set assists, 10 digs and was 18-of-19 serving.
Kate Ahrens added five kills, 15 digs and was 14-of-15 serving, Leah Irlbeck had five kills and an ace block and Alexa Steffl had three kills and AJ Guggisberg added two set assists, 16 digs and was 13-of-13 serving.
Sydney Mertens chipped in with a dig and was 2-for-3 serving.
The Cardinals have a nice nucleus under first year Head Coach Taya Lindahl and should be poised to contend in the Big South Conference in 2019.
“We have had a lot of girls step up this year already,” Lindahl said. “We are led in the gym with three seniors in Leah Irlbeck, Alexa Steffl and Keelie Van Hee. We have two very strong outside hitters returning in Sydney Sommers and Kate Ahrens. Both of these girls will be a huge part of our offense this year. We will rely on AJ Guggisberg to help run the back row this year as she moves into a libero position. Haley Garman and Alexa Steffl will be another key part of our offense as they will play in the middle."
“Hannah Schjenken and Aubree Hicks will be in charge of the offense with both setting for us this year,” Lindahl added. “Hannah will also be hitting on the right side as well. Sydney Mertens will be relied on to play some middle and step in the back row as well. Keelie (Van Hee) brings a lot of energy to our team and will be relied on to step in and block for us on the right side as well.”
The Cardinals hosted the Big South Conference crossover Aug. 24 and travel to Luverne for a big early season conference road match-up Aug. 27.