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Volleyball: Sabers score a sweep

Farmington's volleyball team continued to struggle running a consistent offense last week as it split a pair of contests.

The Tigers started the week by winning a five-set thriller over Rochester Century in Rochester, but their inability to mount a counter-attack against the powerful spikes of all-stater Ashley Wittman led to a 3-0 loss to No. 1 (Class 3A) Shakopee last Thursday at Tiger Gym.

In the 25-12, 25-9, 25-16 Missota Conference setback, the Tiger offense produced a season-low 22 kills while also committing 19 hitting errors, a season-worst total for three games.

"We're working on trying to be more aggressive with our sets and take advantage of our offensive opportunities," head coach Mike Woody said. "We've seen progress in practice since then and we're going to continue plugging away."

Senior Danielle Dombeck led the offense with 10 kills and she also totaled nine digs. Junior middle blocker Katie Habeck added eight kills, five blocks and three ace serves.

The Tiger defense, led by Beth Pappenfus' 12 digs, managed to slow down Wittman until the third game, when she slammed down the majority of her game-high 20 kills. Wittman now leads the league with 234 kills in 15 games.

"We were able to defend against her. She still had a lot of impressive kills," Woody said. "When we did slow her down, we didn't have the offense to counteract her. By Game 3 she got hot and lit it up against us."

With the win, the Sabers moved to 11-0. They improved to 15-0 with a sweep of the Apple Valley Invitational over the weekend and they haven't lost a set since a season-opening 3-1 road win over Eastview.

Farmington dropped to 7-6 heading into Tuesday's trip south to take on Rochester Mayo. The Tigers have beaten the Spartans each of the past two regular seasons only to lose to them in the Section 1AAA Tournament. The schedule resumes tonight with a road trip to Prior Lake to take on the Class 3A No. 10-ranked Lakers.

Farmington 3, Century 2

The Tigers trailed two games to one before rallying for a 21-25, 25-19, 14-25, 25-22, 16-14 victory over the Panthers last Tuesday in Rochester.

Dombeck and Habeck each supplied 17 kills as the Tigers turned in their second-highest total of the season with 44. Rachel Sand provided 18 of the assists and Samme Skokan added 14.

"It was a well-contested game. We didn't play our absolute best offensively, yet we were able to just play together as a team. We were very scrappy and won a lot of points on second and third chances," Woody said. "The last three or four Game 5s we've had we've come up short, so to pull one out and show we can win one was big for us."

Alexia Rains led the Farmington defense with 20 digs and Pappenfus added 12.