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Volleyball: NLS moves on

Second-seed New London-Spicer tops Morris/CA, a team that beat the Cats during the season.

NLS Wildcats vs. Morris Area-Chokio-Alberta 102822.001.jpg
Wildcats sophomore outside hitter Ayla Caskey spikes the ball during a Section 3AA-North playoffs match against Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, at New London-Spicer High School in New London.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune
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NEW LONDON — The New London-Spicer Wildcats squeaked by Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta in the first round of the Section 3AA-North playoffs on Friday evening.

Seeded at No. 2, NLS won 25-22, 26-28, 25-23 and 25-22 over the No. 7 Tigers, who beat the Wildcats 3-0 during the regular season.

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The four-set win brings the Wildcats into the Section 3AA-North playoffs quarterfinals against the Minnewaska Lakers.

With NLS trailing 20-21, senior outside hitter Avery Rich tied the match at 21-21 with a kill that forced Morris/CA to call a timeout. The Wildcats then scored the next three points before closing out set one 25-22 to swing momentum in their favor.

However, the Tigers stuck around, battled, and played NLS close. Morris/C-A took set number two in a 28-26 win after the Wildcats once held a 26-25 advantage.

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The Wildcats defeated Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta in four sets.

NLS Wildcats vs. Morris Area-Chokio-Alberta 102822.002.jpg
Wildcats junior setter/right-side Kendra Gerhardson sets the ball during a Section 3AA-North playoffs match against Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, at New London-Spicer High School in New London.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune

After it conceded set two, NLS responded in set three with a 25-23 victory and found similar results with a 25-22 victory in set four to close out the match.

NLS served well against the Tigers, tallying 11 ace serves. Senior middle blocker Ellary Peterson led with three. The Rich sisters - Avery and Dakota - junior setter Ava Hauer and sophomore libero Grace Truscinski each recorded two.

Wildcats junior setter/right-side Kendra Gerhardson posted an all-around performance to pace NLS to victory. She led the team with 19 set assists, 14 kills and four ace blocks, adding five digs.

NLS Wildcats vs. Morris Area-Chokio-Alberta 102822.003.jpg
Wildcats senior middle blocker Ellary Peterson passes the ball during a Section 3AA-North playoffs match against Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, at New London-Spicer High School in New London.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune

The Wildcats saw three players reach double-digits in digs. Peterson led with 14 digs as Dakota and Avery Rich followed with 12 and 11.

The Wildcats play host to the No. 6 seeded Minnewaska Lakers at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Section 3AA-North quarterfinals at New London-Spicer High School. The winner will face the winner between the No. 1 Paynesville Bulldogs and the No. 4 Litchfield Dragons at 7 p.m. Thursday at a neutral site that is to be determined.

NLS Wildcats vs. Morris Area-Chokio-Alberta 102822.004.jpg
Wildcats sophomore outside hitter Emma Madison (left) and sophomore middle blocker Ava Carlson (right) jump up for block attempts during a Section 3AA-North playoffs match against Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, at New London-Spicer High School in New London.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune

Section 3AA-North

NLS 3, Morris/CA 1

Morris/CA (11-10)     22   28   23   22
NLS (16-11)               25   26   25   25

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Morris/CA
Stats not available

NLS
Serving (aces): Ava Hauer 2, Avery Rich 2, Dakota Rich 2, Ellary Peterson 3, Grace Truscinski 2 … Set assists: Hauer 18, Peterson 1, Emma Madison 1, Truscinski 2, Kendra Gerhardson 19 … Hitting (kills): Ava Carlson 7, Rich 5, Ayla Caskey 5, Peterson 3, Madison 8, Gerhardson 14 … Blocking (aces): Carlson 1, Caskey 1, Peterson 2, Gerhardson 4 … Digs (5 or more): Hauer 8, A. Rich 11, Caskey 5, Dakota Rich 12, Peterson 14, Truscinski 9, Gerhardson 5

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Michael Lyne joined the West Central Tribune as a sports reporter in May 2022, following his graduation from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where he graduated with a bachelors degree in journalism and a minor degree in Spanish studies.

You may reach Michael at mlyne@wctrib.com, or by calling (320) 214-4345.
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