Jake Schultz and Joe Brown
NEW LONDON — New London-Spicer survived their Section 3AA debut with a narrow 3-0 victory against Litchfield Thursday evening. The Wildcats rallied for a pair of opening set wins of 27-25 and 28-26 before rounding out the match with a 25-18 victory. NLS was persistent on the defensive end with 76 digs and eight blocks as a team. Emily Novak led with 17 digs, just ahead of Mya Krause's 15. Payton Mages, meanwhile, dominated the net with five blocs. Ashlyn Olson and Aleah Zieske led the charge offensively with 11 kills.
MURDOCK — Dylan Rudningen was KMS' leader on both sides of the ball again on Wednesday, leading the Saints to a 29-8 victory over previously undefeated Royalton in the regular-season finale on Wednesday. Rudningen ran for 171 yards and all four Saints touchdowns, he led the team in tackles, he intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble. KMS improved to 7-1 and tied Royalton for the Mid State 3 District championship.
BENSON — Benson jumped out to a two-set lead and fended off Montevideo's rally with a strong fourth set on Tuesday at Benson High School. Benson won 25-21, 25-15, 23-25 and 25-15. The Braves' Claire Ricard had 13 kills and a pair of solo blocks and Rachel Berens had 12 kills, three service aces and a pair of solo blocks. Mariah Ahrndt had 21 set assists, served three aces and also had eight kills and 12 digs. Ellie Moesenthin had 12 set assists and 12 digs. Benson 3, Montevideo 1 Montevideo (9-18) 21 15 25 15
LITCHFIELD — New London-Spicer had to rebound from lackluster performances in the second and third games to defeat Litchfield in five games in a Wright County Conference matchup on Tuesday. NLS won 25-15, 14-25, 17-25, 25-19 and 15-11. The Wildcats' Kendra Bagley had a team-high 14 kills and Aleah Zieske was right behind her with 13 kills. Ashlyn Olson also topped double-digit kills with 11. Emma Hanson had seven kills and Ava Kramer finished with six kills and a team-high five solo blocks.
NEW LONDON — New London-Spicer earned a 3-0 (25-17, 25-13, 25-17) win against Central Minnesota Christian in the Wildcats' final non-conference match of the regular season Monday evening. Ashlyn Olson tallied 12 kills to lead all hitters, guiding the Wildcats in the sweep. Bluejay setter Coco Duininck finished with a match-best 26 set assists while Hunter Paffrath and Presley Arndt-Callenius split setting duties, racking up 15 and 10 set assists, respectively.
WILLMAR — Willmar's Sam Christoffer scored the game's only goal in the sixth minute and, despite the slim margin, the Cardinals were never nervous in a 1-0 win over St. Cloud Tech on Thursday at the Kennedy School field. Christoffer scored on an assist from Julissa Celis-Victoria, and goalie Bryton Carlson turned back all 10 Tech shots on goal. "There was never really a moment I felt like we would concede," said Willmar head coach David Vinje on a big win for his team. "We were in the driver's seat. We needed this." Willmar 1,
LITCHFIELD — New London-Spicer quarterback Brandon Adelman hit 13 of 14 passes for 267 yards, threw for three touchdowns and ran for two other scores in the Wildcats' 50-13 win over Litchfield on Friday. Evan Dietz, Nick Perkins and Kelly Bennetts were on the receiving end of Adelman scoring passes, and Perkins also caught a 50-yard TD pass from Bennetts. Adelman ran for the first score of the game and the last TD of the night. Sam Stageberg ran for 79 yards and a TD.
COLD SPRING — The Willmar volleyball tuned up for the St. Michael-Albertville Invitational with a sweep of Rocori in a Central Lakes Conference match on Thursday. The Cardinals defeated the Spartans 25-19, 25-15 and 25-12. Willmar opens the STMA invite against St. Paul Academy at 6:15 p.m. Friday. The Cardinals play again against an opponent to be determined at 8:45 p.m. on Friday. Against Rocori, Sydney Olson had 11 kills and Grace Marti and Caitlin Ogdahl both finished with nine kills. Carly Wedel had 37 set assists and five kills.
WILLMAR — Willmar maintained the pace of play for much of the game and Cesar Leiva and Kelvin Gomez-Padilla combined on both Cardinals goals in a 2-1 win over Rocori on Tuesday at the Kennedy School field. Leiva scored on as assist from Gomez-Padilla in the 26th minute and Leiva returned the favor on Gomez-Padilla's goal about three minutes later. Card goalie Zach Courtney turned back 13 of Rocori's 14 shots, with the lone Spartans goal coming on a defensive mistake, said head coach Jeff Winter.
BIG LAKE — Alexander Wickliff made his name known in a big way on Friday, running for 140 yards on just eight carries and scoring two TDs as Willmar won its third game of the season, 55-7, over Big Lake. Willmar's Drey Dirksen, who ran for 88 yards on just nine carries, scored two rushing touchdowns and he also fired scoring passed to Jake Evans and Caleb Owens. Owens turned three catches into 121 yards, and Tanner Bauman reached the end zone on a three-yard run in the fourth quarter.