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Volleyball: Wingers drop five-setter to Albert Lea

All season, Red Wing has faced fastball pitchers. On Tuesday, the Wingers ran into changeup after change up, with the occasional curveball thrown in for good measure.

No, the girls were not playing softball, but the all-off speed approach from Albert Lea was about as different as a volleyball and a bat, and it resulted in a 3-2 (25-22, 20-25, 22-25, 25-20, 15-11) Big Nine Conference victory.

“The teams we've played have been big hitters,” said Red Wing's Madisyn Lyons. “We didn't know that (the Tigers) were going to tip so much. And then once we finally got it, they started swinging.”

The Wingers fought to stay in the match with good serving and what turned out to be a 20-kill effort from Madisyn.

But the team could not figure out a way to stop Albert Lea's soft attack. Even in the second set, which the Red Wing won, the Tigers had five tip kills and a fake set that landed between three Wingers.

“If they get us once or twice, great, but more than that and it's on us,” said Red Wing head coach Dave Lyons. “But they were smart. It was open and they went back to the well again and again. And we're trying some new rotations, getting some new girls in there in some new spots.”

The deciding set was back and forth until Albert Lea unleashed its arms. Leading 10-9, the Tigers scored five of the final seven points, four on mighty swings from Camryn Keyeski, Alexandra Eckstrom and Sarah DeHaan.

Also complicating things were a 6-2 Albert Lea advantage in service errors, something the Wingers dominated early on.

“We had a lot of errors at the end,” Madisyn said. “But we were a lot better (than the past) in the beginning.”

Helping with the offense was Vanessa Frazier's 11 kills, and Macy Koester's four service aces. Koester also had 35 set assists for Red Wing (2-9, 0-4 Big Nine), which has now dropped three in a row after a win in the Farmington Tournament.

“I knew this was going to be a building year,” Madisyn said. “We only have one senior, but we have been building.”

On Thursday, the Wingers will visit Faribault before heading to Hopkins for a Saturday tournament.

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, and follow him on Twitter @RE_KStevens.
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