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Tribune photo by Rand Middleton Laura Swartz, middle, and Katie Lippert, right, of the Willmar Cardinals leap hight to throw up a double block against an attack by Minnetonka's Ida Steingas during Game 2 in the Cardinals' home opener on Monday in Willmar.

Prep Volleyball: Willmar falls in home opener

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sports Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

WILLMAR -- The Willmar Cardinals will open the Central Lakes Conference season hosting Brainerd on Thursday. They're 0-2 after losing to Minnetonka in the home-floor opener on Monday, 25-21, 25-15, 25-14.

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The earlier loss was to Hutchinson, also in three sets.

Willmar head coach Terrin DeBoer said inconsistency passing the ball is preventing the offense from unloading.

"When we pass the ball well, we hit well," she said. "We've got to set our middle where we have two big hitters."

Emily Minnick and Katie Lippert, both 6-feet tall, had 30 attacks combined. Minnick finished with 11 kills and Lippert 4.

"We've got to put our passes on target," said DeBoer. "That's where it all starts. This team has lots of potential."

The Cardinals hurt themselves, too, with 10 service errors.

Willmar fell behind 6-1 to start the match and chased the Skippers the rest of the way, pulling to within two points at 21-19.

The Cardinals led the second game 9-5 and 13-11, but Tonka took charge with a 14-2 run to the finish.

Willmar's offense didn't gel in Game 3 either and the Cardinals lost by 11.

The Skippers tied the four-year old series at two wins apiece.

Minnetonka 3, Willmar 0

Minnetonka 25 25 25

Willmar 21 15 14

(Key: good-attempts-aces)

Minnetonka

Not available

Willmar

Serving: Casey Marcus 5-5-0, Addy Nelsen 4-9-1, Emily Minnick 6-8-1, Laura Swartz 9-10-0, Riley Grussing 7-9-1, Ellie Sack 2-2-0, Lindsey Atchison 8-8-0 ... Setting: Grussing 59-60-23 ... Hitting: Nelsen 21-23-9, Minnick 18-21-11, Lippert 6-9-4, Swartz 3-5-0, Atchison 11-12-1 ... Blocking (aces): Lippert 1, Minnick 1, Atchison 1 ... Digs: Atchison 12, Marcus 10

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