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Cannon Falls libero Becca Vandenheuvel reaches down for a dig during the second set of Tuesday's HVL match against Rochester Lourdes at Cannon Falls High School. (Republican Eagle photo by Joe Brown)

Volleyball: Cannon Falls claims HVL win

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CANNON FALLS – There were peaks and valleys in Tuesday’s match with Rochester Lourdes, but Cannon Falls had little trouble coming away with a win.

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After the 25-13, 25-17, 25-15 Hiawatha Valley League victory, Bombers’ head coach Melissa Huseth told her team they will have to play more consistent if they hope to make a strong postseason push.

“I saw some good things tonight, but we didn’t play consistent volleyball tonight,” Huseth said. “We have only one more match since our bye is next week. … We’re going to start playing some good competition soon and they have to keep it more sustained.”

Setter Lydia Franken added, “It was a good game, but we didn’t play our best at all. We didn’t communicate well, but a win’s a win.”

The way the players see it, they got to play like the top teams in the HVL and Section 1AA.

“Coach’s big thing is play every game like it’s your last,” said Cannon Falls libero Becca Vandenheuvel. “Play every game like you’re playing Kasson-Mantorville, she always says.”

It looked like the Bombers would breeze past the Eagles after a dominating first set. As Lourdes struggled to get an offensive attack, Cannon Falls benefitted, leading as much as 20-7 to pull off a convincing start.

But the Bombers experienced a bit of shock in the second set as the Eagles vaulted out to a 5-1 lead thanks to a pair of kills from Gabby Williams and a team block.

Clinging to a slim 13-11 second-set lead, Cannon Falls regained control of the set as Franken took to the service line. Keeping the Eagles out of system, Franken and the Bombers scored seven straight points to go up 20-11.

“I just like to focus on the zones our coach gives us; I just want to (serve strong) for my team and give us that extra push,” Franken said.

“They improved a lot over that. Usually it takes just one person to get the team going back onto their feet, and I guess that’s what I did.”

The two teams stayed within three points early in the third set. Then in a scene that nearly mirrored Game 2, Sami Cromer went back to serve with Cannon Falls up 13-11. Nine consecutive points later, the Bombers were well on their way to a conference sweep.

Vaulting Cannon Falls during the second and third-set runs, Franken and Cromer each had two ace serves in the victory.

“We try to make sure we use our serving as a weapon,” Huseth said. “I do have some good servers who can move the ball around and can find someone who’s struggling on the night on the other team and serve them out of their offense a little bit.”

Vandenheuvel led a Bombers back row that flew around the court to keep the ball alive, finishing with 15 digs. Caroline Bowen added eight digs, and Anna Nelson scooped up six in the win.

“We were trying to stay off the shoulder as much as possible,” Vandenheuvel said of the back row play. “We had some miscommunication there tonight, but it’ll get better.”

Franken had 17 set assists, and Katie Noble led a balanced offensive attack with six kills. Hailey Huseth, Carly Broze and Madasyn Hofstedt each tallied five kills.

Williams led Lourdes with 10 kills, two ace serves and a pair of ace blocks. Gina Paratore added 11 digs and two ace serves for the Eagles.

The Bombers travel to La Crescent on Thursday, then finish the regular season on Oct. 18 at the Rochester Century invitational.

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Joe Brown
Joe Brown is the sports editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he worked at the Marshall Independent and the St. Cloud Times. For updates on local sports, follow Joe on Twitter at @RE_JBrown.
(651) 301-7878
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