Weather Forecast


Family: Prank 'gone wrong' causes shooting death in small western Minnesota town

Willmar title hopes dashed

Willmar senior Alex Lippert, right, unleashes one of her 28 attacks over the block attempt of Alexandria's Keely Gross during a Central Lakes Conference volleyball match Tuesday in Willmar. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton1 / 2
Willmar's Hannah Smith lifts off the court for an attack while facing Alexandria defenders Sam Trumm, left, and Keely Gross at Willmar on Tuesday in a matchup of Central Lakes Conference leaders. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton2 / 2

WILLMAR -- This was the match Willmar had been building up for an entire month after losing in five games at Alexandria on Sept. 8.

"We were so excited," said senior setter Jennie Mattison. "We were looking forward to playing for the conference championship."

But after a sizzling start, Willmar faded and the visiting Cardinals left town with their perfect Central Lakes' record intact.

Alexandria started slow, then deflected Willmar's first-place dreams 17-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-13.

Alexandria goes to 10-0 (17-7 overall), while Willmar drops to 8-2, 15-6.

"The first game we came out intense and confident," said Hannah Smith, who had a match-high 24 kills for Willmar. "We didn't let anything drop."

The outcome hinged on Game 3. Smith hammered a kill and then got an ace block to tie it 23-all. But Alexandria took the next two points.

Willmar fell back 6-2 in Game 4 and couldn't make it up.

"We kind of fell apart," said Mattison. "Coach (Terrin DeBoer) told us we've got to get more consistent."

Alexandria 3, Willmar 1

Alexandria 17 25 25 25

Willmar 25 17 23 13

(Key: good-attempts-aces)


Serving: Keely Gross 17-18-1, SamTrumm 19-20-1, Angela Christiaqnson 16-18-0 ... Setting (assists): Gross 16, Katie Brown 20 ... Hitting: Trumm 30-34-11, Jacque 31-34-12, Christianson 23-25-6, Nikki Swedberg 24-26-7 ... Blocking (aces): Christianson 5, Trumm 4 ... Digs: Gross 18, Trumm 14


Serving: Addy Nelsen 11-12-00, Shae Bruess 9-9-0, Laura Swartz 5-6-0, Jennie Mattison 14-14-1, Jena Thompson 9-12-1, Hannah Smith 13-13-1... Setting: Mattison 86-86-26, Nelsen 50-51-15, Alex Lipper 10-10-12, Smith 5-5-0, Swartz 2-3-1, Karlee Johnson 3-4-1, Sara Banks 1-1-1 ... Hitting: Nelsen 6-6-0, Johnson 3-3-0, Banks 1-2-0, Swartz 5-5-2, Mattison 18-22-5, Thompson 30-33-8, Lippert 20-28-9, Smith 48-62-24, Lindsey Atchison 16-22-2, Hailey Vreeman 1-2-0 ... Blocking (aces): Swartz 1, Mattison 1, Thompson 3, Lippert 1, Smith 1 ... Digs: Nelsen 7, Bruess 7, Johnson 16, Banks 2, Swartz 6, Mattison 19, Thompson 6, Smith 26, Atchison 4

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
(320) 214-4334