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Ashburn back at state again

Lindsay Ashburn, a 2001 Buffalo Lake-Hector graduate, guided East Ridge to the Class AAA state tournament in her first season as head coach. Photo courtesy East Ridge High School

WOODBURY -- You'd think having a record of 145-18 would have a coach dancing in the streets, bragging about it in the line at the supermarket or requesting a more lucrative contract.

When pressed, Lindsay Ashburn wasn't all the enamored with her accomplishments.

"I do not keep track of my record until I have to tabulate it for something such as this or the state media guide. It's definitely not what I coach for."

Luckily, Ashburn had already been asked for the information by the Minnesota State High School League after she led East Ridge (a second-year school in Woodbury) to the state volleyball tournament.

East Ridge (20-7) will open today against No, 1 seed Lakeville North (28-1) at 9 a.m. in the Class AAA quarterfinals.

Ashburn, a 2001 graduate of Buffalo Lake-Hector, previously coached St. Cloud Cathedral to four state tournament trips, finishing as state runners-up in 2007, fourth in 2006 and '08 and fifth in 2005. She left Cathedral to take courses toward her Masters in Sports Management at St. Coud State, where she played college volleyball. She was also an assistant coach at SCSU.

Ashburn will begin a new position with Country Financial in December. She heard about the opening for a volleyball coach at East Ridge while working for the Minnesota Swarm's lacrosse team last year.

"One of my co-workers told me about the position," explained Ashburn. "Her husband is the head lacrosse coach at East Ridge and an assistant coach for the Swarm."

Lindsay's sisters, Monica (a 2004 graduate of BLH) and Leah (2006), are also coaches. Monica (Zieske) is the co-head at Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City and helped guide the Falcons to a 16-9 record. Leah, whose career at Southwest Minnesota State University was cut short by shoulder injuries, is currently an assistant coach at Augsburg College.

"We talk a lot about practice planning/drills and how we can make our players and programs stronger," said Lindsay. "We come from different collegiate playing backgrounds and, of course, it helps that Monica was a setter. That gives Leah and I a different perspective and vice versa."

Lindsay credits longtime BLH coach Susan Alstrom with her love for the sport and getting into coaching.

"(She) was extremely influential and I feel we try to take much of what we learned from her into our programs. She inspired me to become a coach and it is my hope that the girls I coach have as much fun and enjoy the great experiences I had as a player."