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Goodhue's Mikayla Tipcke sets the ball for a teammate during Tuesday's three-set victory over Lake City. Tipcke had 35 set assists, 14 digs and three ace serves in the win. (Republican Eagle photo by Kyle Stevens)

Volleyball: Goodhue too much for Lake City

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The Goodhue and Lake City volleyball teams have had wildly different seasons, which becomes obvious when one takes a glance at both records and rosters. The Wildcats are closing in on 20 wins while the Tigers have limped to just two victories. Goodhue is riding 10 seniors while Lake City boasts just two players in their final season of eligibility.

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Those differences were apparent Thursday as the Wildcats rolled to another Hiawatha Valley League victory, this time in three sets, 25-15, 25-16, 25-12.

Goodhue struggled to get things going in the first set, a possible hangover of homecoming week, said head coach Lindsey Mace.

“I only played my 10 seniors tonight. They’re a very talented crew, obviously,” Mace said. “It’s homecoming week, it was elementary volleyball (night), I think they were just a little overwhelmed in the beginning, a little tired out. And then they were like, ‘OK, we’re ready for this. We can do this.’ So they just put it away at the end there.”

The Tigers led 7-5 in the first set before the Wildcats were able to put nine straight points on the board. Lake City responded with four consecutive points, but Goodhue pulled away with 11 of the next 15 points. Mikayla Miller had three kills and an ace during that run, while Kali Ryan added two kills. Miller ended the match with 10 kills, one more than Meredith Watson’s nine. Watson also added two blocks and two aces, and Mikayla Tipcke finished with 35 set assists, 14 digs and three aces.

The second set was similar in that the Tigers leaped out to a 6-2 lead, only to see it completely vanish when the Wildcats scored eight of 10 points. Lake City was able to tie the set at 14-all before Goodhue started to roll once again, reeling off two four-point runs to take a 2-0 match lead. Ryan was the main weapon in the second set, getting five kills to keep Lake City at bay.

The third set would see the Wildcats keep the momentum, reeling off the first six points of the set. Lake City’s three-point run to stop Goodhue was the only time in the set that the Tigers were able to muster more than back-to-back points, and that occurred only three times.

Credit, Mace said, goes to that large senior class and their ability to take the busy week in stride, and put it on the backburner when needed.

“They’re so dedicated,” Mace said. “They might not get all the playing time they would like, but they’re stuck with it and they’re awesome players.”

For Lake City head coach Kim Bobb, Thursday’s loss was another lesson about being young in a conference that boasts some of the state’s best teams.

“It is a tough conference to be young in,” Bobb said. “Yes it is.”

But the Tigers’ flashes of brilliance will bode well in the future. Sophomore Madi Green had four kills while junior Bailey Cronin dished out seven set assists. Fellow junior Claire Gruber had nine digs, one behind classmate Martha Guevara.

Both teams will close the 2013 regular season Tuesday. Goodhue (19-7-1) will host Byron while Lake City (2-20-2) will take the show on the road Tuesday to face second-ranked Stewartville.

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Kyle Stevens
Kyle Stevens is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, Kyle worked at the Owatonna People’s Press, as well as KWLM and KLFN in Willmar. You can contact Kyle by phone at (651) 301-7879, via e-mail at kstevens@republican-eagle.com, and follow him on Twitter @RE_KStevens.
(651) 301-7879
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