|11/13/2020 2:14:00 PM|
A SEASON CUT SHORT
Late last week, the Chisago Lakes volleyball team was delivered the crushing news that due to COVID-19 outbreaks at the high school, their season would be cut short after just three games.
For a team that had been building up to this year and the crop of seniors that were featured, it was an absolutely heartbreaking bit of news.
The girls only got three games in, but after their opener against North Branch when they were a bit rusty going up against the defending conference champions who had played their full schedule up to that point, they were some memorable contests.
They lost 3-2 to a talented Becker squad in which Ashley Peltier and Samantha Paulsen, CL’s middle tandem, showed the type of offensive damage they could do.
In their last match of the year, they beat Big Lake 3-1 after dropping the first set, and Paulsen had a dominating game that only scratched the surface of what this year’s team could’ve accomplished.
In CL’s tussle with Becker, Peltier and Paulsen combined for 44 kills and eight blocks. Becker won the first two sets 25-23, 25-22. Either one could have gone the way of CL with a couple breaks, but Becker is a very talented and gritty team. In the third set, Chisago Lakes fought off the sweep despite a nail-biting finish, and they won 29-27. In the fourth set, CL again staved off a loss by winning 25-22 as they continued to feed the Killer P’s, Peltier and Paulsen.
“We were able to be at home with some exciting energy,” Head Coach Hannah Lindstrom said. “Emotions were high but we stayed in system and played with a lot more cohesion.”
However, the team ran out of gas in the fifth set, as it was another instance where Becker has played their full slate of games while CL was just in their second contest.
When Big Lake hosted the Wildcats, Chisago Lakes was at least able to taste victory before their season got shut down. Paulsen absolutely clocked the Hornets with 36 kills and nine blocks. They didn’t have an answer for her on either side of the ball, and she single-handedly took over the game for Chisago Lakes as they bounced back from an opening set loss of 25-16 to win the next three 25-15, 25-22 and 25-20. Kylie Carlson, a senior setter, also had her best game of the year by far, dishing out 58 assists after her and Anika Zins had split the duties in the first two match ups.
“Big Lake was a fun match. They came out stronger than we expected, but we really showed up in a lot of different ways. We were efficient on offense and strong on defense,” Lindstrom said.
Libero Sam Olson got her 500th career dig in the game, and Big Lake took a classy moment to honor the CL senior.
In the wake of last week’s news that the season would be shut down, Lindstrom reminisced about the nine seniors on the team and what they’ve meant. “Most of these girls were in their first year on varsity when I became coach. It’s a deeper bond than just player and coach,” she said. “These girls created a culture of family. An environment that is welcoming, connected, supportive and successful. We spent a lot of time diving into what that means and I saw a lot of that this season with the inconsistencies we went through. These girls created a culture that people want to be a part of and are proud to be a part of. I hope it will continue because of the foundation they’ve laid.”