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Willmar off to 3-0 start

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Willmar off to 3-0 start
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

WILLMAR -- Taya Nelson, Kelsey Evans and Emily Nelsen all had at least 10 kills as Willmar defended its home court by upending Central Lakes Conference rival Sauk Rapids 25-22, 22-25, 25-21, 25-19 in its home opener.

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Nelsen had a match-high 15 kills for the unbeaten Cardinals (2-0, 3-0) with Nelson following with 11 and Evans 10 while Jena Thompson added five more.

"We spread the offense around and that helps us," said Willmar coach Mary Hanson.

Nelson had five of her kills in the final game. After falling in the second game, the Cardinals stormed back solid serve-receive in game three from Annalise Bratt.

"Sauk Rapids is a good team," added Hanson. "They are defensively frustrating because they dig a lot of balls."

Nikki Meinz sparked the Storm with her 13 kills, 22 digs and four ace serves.

The Cardinals neutralized the Storm at the net by collecting nine ace blocks, three each from Thompson and Alex Lippert.

Jennie Mattison added 13 set assists and a team-high three ace serves for Willmar, which also had Hannah Smith chalked up 14 assists and Brittney Hastad collect 16 digs.

Willmar hosts Hutchinson in a non-conference match on Thursday.

Willmar 3, Sauk Rapids 1

Sauk Rapids 22 25 21 19

Willmar 25 22 25 25

(Key: good-attempts-aces)

Sauk Rapids

Serving (aces): Nikki Meinz 4 ... Setting (assists): Anita McLaird 19 ... Hitting (kills): Meinz 13, Amanda Trutwin 4, Nikki Kothenbeutel 4 ... Blocking (aces): Kothenbeutel 5, Trutwin 4 ... Digs: Meinz 22, Kothenbeutel 15

Willmar

Serving: Annalise Bratt 9-11-0, Kelsey Evans 13-15-1, Hannah Smith 18-20-2, Emily Nelsen 18-19-2, Jennie Mattison 17-18-3, Jena Thompson 8-10-1 ... Setting: Taya Nelson 14-14-3, Brittney Hastad 8-9-2, Evans 5-6-3, Smith 50-52-14, Mattison 48-49-13, Alex Lippert 8-9-7 ... Hitting: Nelson 17-21-11, Evans 13-18-10, Nelsen 26-31-15, Lippert 16-16-4, Thompson 17-21-5 ... Blocking (aces): Evans 1, Smith 1, Nelsen 1, Lippert 3, Thompson 3 ... Digs: Hastad 16, Bratt 9, Evans 4, Smith 12, Nelsen 7, Mattison 3, Thompson 4

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