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Volleyball: Lake City rocked in opener

Lake City's Breanna Gates slides down for a dig during the first set of Monday's season-opening match against Dover-Eyota at Lake City.

LAKE CITY – The first-game jitters were apparent for the Lake City Tigers.

Facing Dover-Eyota at home for the first game of the 2013 season, Lake City showed some promise with strong defensive play in the back row. But the Tigers’ passing and offense struggled to get in sync all match as the Eagles picked up the three-set sweep, 25-15, 25-12, 25-12.

“We need some work,” Lake City head coach Kim Bobb said. “We did a good job digging, but it’s not good that we had to rely on that. … We’re a young team and it was tough with those first-game jitters.”

Dover-Eyota wasted no time in the match, going up 9-1 in the first set. Capitalizing on the Tigers’ hitting errors, the Eagles led most of the first set by double digits to gain a 1-0 advantage.

The Tigers showed some life in the second set as Dover-Eyota had its own early-set struggles. With the match tied at 4-4, the Eagles regrouped and went on an 11-2 run that catapulted them to a 2-0 lead in the match.

Pushing Dover-Eyota’s offense was junior outside hitter Brandi Blattner, who had eight of her match-leading 12 kills in the second set.

“She was hitting hard,” Bobb said of Blattner, who also had eight digs in the win. “They also had some tough serves in that match.”

As the match went on, Lake City got stronger, leading the third set 6-4 after a kill by Brianna Gates and an Eagles error.

But again, Dover-Eyota regrouped, scoring the next seven points to go up 11-6. The Tigers never recovered as the Eagles left the court with a victory.

“They got better as we played,” Bobb said of her players. “We only had four players back with varsity playing time last year with Breanna (Gates), Emily (Ziebell), Jo (Ender) and Bailey (Cronin). We still have to grow.”

Sophomore middle hitter Madi Green had a team-high seven kills for Lake City, and Ziebell had 12 digs and two ace serves. Daynallyn Jostock tallied four kills and four solo blocks in the loss.

Callie Hanley controlled Dover-Eyota’s offense with 22 set assists, and Rylee Forshee contributed seven kills, 10 digs and four ace serves.

The Tigers (0-1) are on the road today for a match against Winona Cotter.

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.

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