SAUK RAPIDS -- After a slow start, Willmar steadily improved throughout the match and eventually defeated Sauk Rapids 21-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-16 in a Central Lakes Conference volleyball match Thursday night. The win kept the Cardinals in a tie with Alexandria for first place with three conference matches left for each team. The win was also the 250th of Willmar coach Mary Hanson's career. "I saw Sauk Rapids play Saturday and they are much improved," said Hanson. "They switched its offense around a little and they served aggressively.
BENSON -- BOLD won a thrilling match with Benson Thursday night to clinch a share of the West Central South volleyball title. The former member of the Two Twelve Conference rallied to win 17-25, 25-23, 21-25, 25-21 and 15-13. "It was an excellent match by both teams with great digging and hitting," said Benson coach Erick Hedman. BOLD seemed to take control with a 7-0 run in the fifth game.
LITCHFIELD -- Natalie Devine piled up eight kills and six ace serves to help Litchfield post a 25-12, 25-12, 25-14 sweep of new Wright County Conference member Mound-Westonka Thursday. Devine had three ace serves in each of the first two games and uncorked five kills in the third game. Brittany Euerle also had eight kills for the Dragons (3-2, 9-5), who host a six-team tournament Saturday.
HOLDINGFORD -- With the help of 16 kills from Ashley Lensing and nine ace serves -- four from Emily Roelike -- Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa posted its 16th straight win after sweeping Central Minnesota Conference rival Holdingford 25-15, 25-11, 25-17 Thursday. Lensing misfired on only four attacks in 29 attempts and also had two aces at the service line and 10 digs for the Jaguars, ranked eighth in the Class AA poll. Tiffany Gruber followed Lensing with eight kills while Holly Thompson served three aces and April Hansen recorded three ace blocks. BBE 3, Holdingford 0 BBE (3-1, 17-1) 25 25 25
Results Thursday BOLD/BLH Invite Redwood Valley won both boys and girls. Anthony Bogard, who usually runs second on the Cardinals to teammate Justin Peters, won the boys race in 16:14 with Casey Lippert of runner-up Renville County West second in 16:24. Peters took third at 16:29 In girls, Laura Christensen of Murray County Central posted a blazing 14:55 for the win.
Prep Football CENTRAL LAKES Willmar at Alexandria, 7 p.m. St. Cloud Apollo at Brainerd Rocori at Little Falls (Non-conference) Sauk Rapids at Bemidji Detroit Lakes at Sartell St. Cloud Tech at Moorhead WEST CENTRAL SOUTH Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City at Benson, 7 p.m. BOLD at Morris Area, 7 p.m. Yellow Medicine East at Paynesville, 7 p.m. WEST CENTRAL NORTH Montevideo at Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, 7 p.m. New London-Spicer at Melrose, 7 p.m. Minnewaska at St.
The Willmar Cardinals (8-1, 13-2) will try to maintain their share of the Central Lakes Conference volleyball lead when they travel to Sauk Rapids (4-3, 7-6) for a match. Willmar is tied with Alexandria for the CLC lead.
Litchfield will host a 15-team boys and girls cross-country meet at 4 p.m. today at the Litchfield Golf Course. Besides the host team, Willmar, New London-Spicer, Annandale, Dassel-Cokato, Glencoe-Silver Lake, Howard Lake-Waverly, Eden Valley-Watkins, Maple Lake, Cambridge, Isanti, Lester Prairie, Waconia, Mound-Westonka and Orono will also participate.
The Section 3A tennis tournament resumes today after pigtail matches were held on Tuesday. In the quarterfinals, top-seeded Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd hosts Luverne, New London-Spicer plays at Litchfield, Benson will play MACCRAY in Clara City and Redwood Valley hosts Yellow Medicine. All matches are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. except the Litchfield vs. NLS match which will begin at 3:30 p.m.
WILLMAR -- The Ridgewater Lady Warriors clinched at least a tie for the Minnesota Community College Southern Division volleyball title Wednesday night, sweeping Rochester 30-22, 30-25, 30-15. Ridgewater improved to 7-0 in the Southern Division with three matches remaining. One more win would clinch the title outright for the Lady Warriors, who were third in the division last season. "We played very well tonight," said Ridgewater coach Val Swanson.