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Volleyball: Tigers take fifth at own invite

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Volleyball: Tigers take fifth at own invite
Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

The Farmington volleyball team has become pretty tough to beat over the last couple of weeks.

Since losing their first two games at the Coon Rapids tournament on Sept. 7, the Tigers have reeled off nine wins in 10 matches. In the process, they went 3-1 to finish fifth at their own Farmington Invitational, with their only loss coming to undefeated and seventh-ranked Osseo, and moved to seven games above .500 for the first time since a state tournament run in the fall of 2009.

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At 11-4, the team is also rapidly closing in last year's victory total of 14 with a month still remaining in the regular season.

Head coach Mike Woody is pleased with the team's results so far, but he isn't surprised by them.

"We're right about where I thought we could be. It was just a matter of the kids learning how to play together and filling in a few spots with different kids," he said. "We knew they had the ability, it was just a matter of putting it together."

During the recent run, Woody said his team has started to figure out how to make in-game adjustments and find ways to win even when things aren't going well.

"There are so many facets with serve receive, passing, blocking, offense, and when we're struggling in one part they've been able to pick it up in another part and find ways to score points outside of running our offense," he said. "It's a sign of a good team when they work through their struggles and find a way."

The Tigers opened Saturday's tournament with a 25-15, 25-15 sweep of New Ulm. Kenzie Hesse led the team with eight kills and Emma Fahning and Diana Comes paced the defense with eight digs and seven serve receptions apiece. Ruthie Schmitt had 19 assists.

In round two, Osseo knocked the Tigers out of the winners' bracket with a 25-18, 25-15 sweep and went on to defeat Jordan and Delano to win the tournament.

Hesse had seven kills and Schmitt supplied 16 assists. Fahning led the team with nine digs.

The Tigers got back in the win column against Bird Island-Olivia-Lake Lillian District, winning 25-23, 21-25, 15-8.

Fahning supplied a team-high 13 kills and Hesse was right behind with 11.

Hanna Baer led the team with 12 digs, Fahning tacked on 10 and Schmitt had nine to go along with 28 set assists.

The Tigers closed out the tournament with another three-gamer, this time a 25-18, 20-25, 15-11 final over Chatfield.

Morgan Cecchettini led the way with eight kills and four blocks and was named to the all-tournament team.

"She provided a spark for us a number of times throughout the tournament," Woody said. "She was consistent and hit over .500 for the day and almost .600 in a couple of matches."

The Tigers resume their Missota Conference schedule tonight on the road at New Prague.

Team leaders

Kills

1. Kenzie Hesse, 155

2. Emma Fahning, 123

3. Morgan Cecchettini, 92

Aces

1. Emma Fahning, 43

2. Ruthie Schmitt, 19

3. Two with 10

Blocks

1. Morgan Cecchettini, 62

2. Vanessa Garske, 52

3. Ruthie Schmitt, 27

Digs

1. Emma Fahning, 160

2. Diana Comes, 113

3. Ruthie Schmitt, 90

Assists

1. Ruthie Schmitt, 404

2. Summer Skokan, 19

3. Hanna Baer, 8

Serve receptions

1. Diana Comes, 180

2. Emma Fahning, 144

3. Kenzie Hesse, 132

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Matt Steichen
Matt Steichen has been the sports editor at the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. He has previously been a sports writer at the Sioux City Journal and Le Mars Daily Sentinel and the sports editor at the Austin Daily Herald.
(651) 460-6606
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