Lanesboro's Madison Ming (13) and Sydnie Johnson (1) go up to block a Spring Grove kill.
Lanesboro's Madison Ming (13) and Sydnie Johnson (1) go up to block a Spring Grove kill.

Lanesboro faced some tough SEC volleyball competition last week, losing in straight sets to the ninth-ranked team in Class 1A (Mabel-Canton) on Sept. 18, and the Lions of Spring Grove on Thursday.

LHS at M-C (L) 16-25, 10-25, 14-25

"I think we played extremely well against M-C," LHS coach Bobbie Vickerman said. "The girls were really anxious to play, and they did really well... I think they exceeded their own expectations. They passed well and did a good job of digging the ball out."

Coach Lonnie Morken agreed, adding that his Cougars had to fight for every point. "Lanesboro was very scrappy and was playing extremely hard on defense," he noted. "The first set (in particular) was extremely tight until the midway point..."

Madison Ming scored 2 kills, 1 ace serve, and provided 2 blocks. Regan Howerton had 2 kills and 2 blocks as did Olivia Haug. Sydney Johnson had a kill and 6 digs. Linnea Thiss contributed 4 set assists, 3 aces, and 2 digs. Steph Erickson added 2 set assists. Ashley Bue had a set assist and an ace. Megan Kiehne had an ace and 4 digs. Kaia Hongerholt had 4 digs, while Amy Kelly added 2. Bailey Gartner scored a block.

"I think we surprised them a little bit as far as how well we played," Vickerman said. "The second set wasn't as good as the first for us, but in the third set we came back with some aggressive play."

For the Cougars, Christy Welscher scored 11 kills, while Belle Sand put away 10. Welscher had 3 aces, while Lydia Geving, Danielle Paul, and Christine Lee notched 2 apiece. Carly McCabe had 29 set assists.

LHS vs. Spring Grove (L) 17-25, 15-25, 16-25

On Thursday, the Burros remained competitive in set one until the Lions separated with a five-point run to lead 16-10. Lanesboro (1-11, 1-6 SEC) also remained in contention for much of the final two sets, but could never generate much offense.

"The Burros didn't attack aggressively against the Lions," Vickerman noted. "The Lions set up (Nicki) Ellingson and although we were able to put up some blocks the Lions were able to successfully attack the net. The Burros had good passing but were unable to execute on offense."

Ellingson scored 20 points, while the Burro team earned 19. Serving 17 for 17, she had match highs with 5 ace serves and 15 kills along with an ace block.

For Lanesboro, Sydney Johnson notched 2 kills, 1 assist, 7 digs, and an ace. Linnea Thiss had 3 assists, 1 dig, and 1 ace. Regan Howerton added 1 kill, 1 block. Madison Ming added 2 kills, 1 block, 1 ace. Megan Kiehne had 6 digs. Stephanie Erickson contributed 5 assists and 3 digs. Kaia Hongerholt had 2 kills, 8 digs, and 2 aces. Bailey Gartner had 1 kill and 1 block. Olivia Haug recorded 1 kill and 3 blocks. Amy Kelly had 3 digs and 2 aces. Eighth grader Lexi Melander served 7 for 7 with 2 aces.

A vocal Homecoming crowd encouraged the Burros until the very end. A sizable throng also followed the Lions, who celebrated Homecoming last week.

Lion Tara Solberg had 6 kills, while setter Addison Cross had four, Heidi Buxengard had two and Kailee Bjerke added one. Cross guided the attack with 25 sets assists and also scored with a block. In addition to Ellingson's strong performance at the service line, Cross served 9 for 10 with 2 aces, and Randi Mehus was 15 for 17 with 2 aces. Aly Folz remained out of action due to illness.

Up next:

Lanesboro will host Hope Lutheran on Thursday, Sept. 27. On Oct. 2, the Burros travel to Houston, followed by another away match at Grand Meadow on Oct. 4.