|10/11/2019 10:36:00 AM|
Wildcats buzz past Hornets on
Homecoming Eve, honor seniors
Chisago Lakes 3, Big Lake 2
Although Chisago Lakes has still struggled at times this year, they earned a huge win on their Homecoming eve game on Thursday, October 3 over the Big Lake Hornets.
They had just beaten the Hornets less than a week ago in the Centennial varsity tournament, but it was just a best of three, so it wasn’t an official Mississippi 8 Conference match up.
Big Lake looked early like they would get their retribution, winning the first set 25-21.
But, after the slow start, the Wildcats made some strategic changes, eliminated the serving errors that plagued them in the first and quickened their defense enough to sting the Hornets 25-17 and 25-15 in the second and third sets.
The Hornets rebounded for a fourth set win 25-23, but Chisago Lakes came out and won an exciting, high-energy fifth set 15-7. “We sped up our defense and identified the holes in the Hornets’ defense and capitalized on it,” Head Coach Hannah Lindstrom said. “It helped turn the match around quickly.”
Ashley Peltier had 13 kills and Samantha Paulsen had nine, yet Lindstrom was quick to give the credit for the win to the defensive effort put forth by the team. Samantha Olson had 30 digs and ran the communication smoothly on the court. Peltier and Paulsen also contributed greatly to the defensive side, with five and six blocks, respectively.
“We played very well as a team, cohesively working together out-of-system and playing high-energy volleyball. These girls were passionate for that win and it showed!” Lindstrom said excitedly after the match. “We haven't played five-set volleyball in a long time. As a group, our program has a history of not being able to overcome slow or unsuccessful starts. I'm more proud of this group for winning in five than I would be if they won in three. It’s something we've been working very hard on.”
Not only was the game a win, it was also Senior Night, where the Wildcats celebrated the three graduating seniors; Paige Bergquist (OH), Kyla Vugteveen (OH), and Mikala Bringgold (DS).
“This is a special group of athletes as they've contributed leadership and strong character to our program for many years,” Lindstrom said.
The celebration included a decorated locker room, emotional speeches, banners and posters, gifts, and a small reception, as well as a bit of a special nod to Bergquist, who was crowned the school’s homecoming queen earlier in the week.
“We will greatly miss this group next year!” Lindstrom said.
The ‘Cats end their regular season over the next week. They played at Coon Rapids on Tuesday, October 8 and will travel to St. Francis on Thursday, October 10 for their M8C finale. Their last game of the year is an away contest against Rush City on Monday, October 14.
With a mark of 8-13 on the season, the ‘Cats have nearly doubled their win total from the past two years, so if they can take a few more contests, the momentum and good vibes around the program will continue to grow.