October 9, 2003 at 11:23 a.m.
The North Branch girls volleyball team kept their hopes for a conference title alive last Tuesday versus Milaca with a 3-0 win. The victory improved the Vikings Rum River mark to 5-1 with three conference matches left.
After a close call in the game one, the Vikings got stronger and stronger down the stretch, taking the second game 25-18 before completing the sweep with a 25-16 win.
Now one game behind St. Michael-Albertville in the conference standings, the Vikings and Knights meet this week.
“This win versus Milaca put us in a great position,” commented Jim VanEerden, North Branch girls volleyball head coach. “We will have to be at the top of our game on Tuesday.”
North Branch 3
North Branch 26, Milaca 24
North Branch 25, Milaca 18
North Branch 25, Milaca 16
With St. Michael on their minds, the Vikings traveled to Lakeville last Friday and Saturday to play in the Lakeville tournament, hoping to shore things up before the big match.
In round one, North Branch met Mayer Lutheran, falling 25-16, 25-18, 12-15. The Vikings evened their record in their next match by defeating Red Wing two games to none. Both games finished 25-18.
As North Branch played deeper into the tournament, the competition continued to grow stiffer. In match three, North Branch ran into a tough Hopkins squad, falling 25-22, 25-21. That dropped the Vikings into the 11 place match versus Champlin Park to finish the tourney.
In that match, Champlin Park opened up play with a 25-19 victory before the Vikings fought back to take the next two games, 27-25, 15-12. The win put them 11 in the tourney with an overall record of 2-2.
“I’m happy coming out of the tournament 2-2,” said VanEerden. “The team played very well and is continuing to improve. I am pleased with the progress our front row middle is making. They continue to work hard at blocking and are consistently keeping the ball in bounds when attacking. We really hustled and played well against very stiff competition. The team is striving to improve each match as the end of the season and the playoffs approach.”
Individually, Kaity Vichorek finished the tournament with 35 kills while Rachel Brown added 26.
Mayer Lutheran 2
North Branch 1
25-16, 18-25, 12-15
North Branch 2
Red Wing 0
North Branch 0
Round Four- 11 place:
North Branch 2
Champlin Park 1
19-25, 27-25, 15-12