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Prep Volleyball: Cardinals storm past Sauk Rapids

Willmar junior setter Riley Grussing sets in Game 3 against Central Lakes Conference rival Sauk Rapids on Thursday in Willmar. She finished the match with 34 assists. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

WILLMAR — The Cardinals took care of business Thursday, sweeping winless Central Lakes Conference rival Sauk Rapids 25-12, 25-20, 26-24, but Willmar coach Traci Grussing said there’s room for improvement.

“The second and the third games we were not hitting as hard and were not as aggressive as in the first (game), but we pulled it out when needed,” said Grussing. “We need to be more consistent.”

A balanced attack helped fuel the Cardinals’ first sweep of the season as five players notched 5-or-more kills. Dani Rosen led the way with 12 kills, Leah Ruter followed with 11, Jennie Magnuson 6, and MaKenzie Hastad and Riley Grussing added 5 each. While not hitting, Grussing set up her teammates, amassing 34 assists along the way. Grussing, along with Ashlie Skonard, also pocketed a team-high 10 digs.

The three-game match also allowed some reserves to see some varsity action. Coach Grussing pointed out that “Emily Chermak and Addie Erickson went in on defense and were awesome in the clutch.”

Grussing added, “Jennie and Dani hit well and Ashlie and Riley played good defense.”

Willmar will look to stretch its win streak to three on Monday when it travels east to play Section 2AAA rival Chanhassen.

Willmar 3, Sauk Rapids 0

Sauk Rapids (0-3, 0-3)     12 20 24

Willmar (2-0, 2-1)             25 25 26

(Key: good-attempts-aces)

Sauk Rapids

Statistics not available


Serving: Allie Roehl 11-11-1, Ashlie Skonard 19-20-1, Leah Ruter 4-4-0, Riley Grussing 10-11-3 … Set assists: Grussing 34 … Hitting: Jennie Magnuson 7-7-6, Dani Rosen 21-23-12, Ruter 30-35-11, MaKenzie Hastad 15-18-5, Grussing 5-5-5, Emily Chermak 2-2-1 … Blocking (aces): Rosen 1, Grussing 1, Tia Erickson 1 … Digs (5 or more): Roehl 8, Skonard 10, Ruter 7, Hastad 9, Grussing 10