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Newcomers lead Cards over Alex

WILLMAR—Three Willmar Cardinals got their first taste of varsity action on the home hardwood and if Tuesday was any indication, the Red Sea will have plenty to be cheering for the next few years.

Outside hitter Sydney Schnichels, an eighth grader, slammed nine kills in her first game wearing the home colors and setter Lydia Larson, a freshman, finished with 13 set assists to complement teammate Carly Wedel's 27 set assists in a four-game win over Alexandria.

Willmar won 25-15, 25-13, 25-27 and 25-21.

"Sydney has been steady blocking all year but this was her best hitting match," said Willmar head coach Traci Grussing, who also saw Abby Teisinger earn her first home varsity minutes. "Lydia seemed a bit nervous at the start but especially towards the end she really started setting the ball nicely. She played well."

Willmar came out strong against the visiting Cardinals, opening up the match with a powerful 25-15 start, a mark they improved on in set two with a 25-13 victory. Caitlin Ogdahl played a large role early and often, wrapping up with a team-best 13 kills. Wedel added 10 kills to the cause as well, working as a setter and occasional hitter with the introduction of Larson.

Ogdahl also led the team with four service aces but it was a strength for the entire Willmar team all night. Willmar finished with 12 aces, including three by Abby Stark. Stark, a sophomore libero, didn't find a ball she couldn't reach. She ended with 24 digs.

Willmar 3,

Alexandria 1

Alexandria 15 13 27 21

Willmar 25 25 25 25

Alexandria

Stats not provided

Willmar

Serving (aces): Abby Stark 3, Callie Slagter 2, Caitlin Ogdahl 4, Carly Wedel 2, Lydia Larson 1 ... Set assists: Wedel 27, Larson 13 ... Hitting (kills): Wedel 10, Ogdahl 13, Bailey Olson 7, Sydney Olson 6, Grace Marti 1, Sydney Schnichels 9 ... Blocking (aces): Wedel 1, Ogdahl 2, B Olson 1, S Olson 2, Marti 1, Abby Teisinger 1 ... Digs (5 or more): Stark 24, Slagter 10, Ogdahl 19, Wedel 8

Jake Schultz

Jake Schultz is a sports reporter and photographer for the West Central Tribune, working his first job out of college. He graduated from St. John's University (CSB/SJU) in 2016 and is a baseball fanatic. You can follow him on Twitter @StJake29. 

(320) 214-4345
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