Cardinals flying high
BRAINERD -- Hannah Smith had eight of Willmar's 26 ace serves as the Cardinals swept Brainerd 25-11, 25-17, 25-11 Tuesday to remain unbeaten in the Central Lakes Conference.
Emily Nelsen followed Smith with seven ace serves. Jennie Mattison added four more, Annalise Bratt three and Taya Nelson and Kelsey Evans both had two.
"We served very aggressively so (Brainerd) couldn't get into their offense," said Willmar coach Mary Hanson. "We ran a pretty fast-paced match and spread out the offense. Everyone had a real good match tonight."
The Cardinals' efforts kept them in a first-place tie with Alexandria for the Central Lakes Conference lead.
Alexandria swept Rocori on Tuesday to also improve to 6-0 in the Central Lakes Conference. Willmar hosts Sartell on Thursday on Parents Night before hosting Alexandria next Tuesday.
Nelsen and Evans both had eight kills to pace a balanced Cardinal offense, which was guided by a combined 18 set assists from Smith and Mattison. Bratt added 13 digs.
Willmar 3, Brainerd 0
Willmar 25 25 25
Brainerd 11 17 11
Serving: Taya Nelson 3-3-2, Brittney Hastad 11-12-0, Annalise Bratt 6-8-3, Kelsey Evans 7-8-2, Hannah Smith 22-23-8, Emily Nelsen 10-11-7, Jennie Mattison 9-10-4 ... Setting: Evans 6-6-2, Smith 20-21-9, Mattison 21-21-9, Alex Lippert 4-4-2 ... Hitting: Nelson 8-9-4, Evans 11-13-8, Smith 5-9-2, Nelsen 12-15-8, Mattison 2-2-1, Lippert 5-5-3, Jena Thompson 2-3-1 ... Blocking (aces): Evans 2, Lippert 1 ... Digs: Hastad 7, Bratt 13, Brianna Johnson 3
Statistics not available