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Volleyball: Cardinals soundly sweep Warriors

Brainerd hosts Alexandria Tuesday, Sept. 21

092221.S.BD.BrainerdWarriorVball1.jpg
Brainerd Warrior Kate Stadum digs the ball Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, against the Alexandria Cardinals at Brainerd High School. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch
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Not much went right for the Brainerd Warriors Tuesday, Sept. 21.

The Alexandria Cardinals swept Brainerd for a Central Lakes Conference win and won all three sets by seven or more points.

“Our serving and passing game were really on tonight,” Alexandria head coach Mary Byrne said. “We had a lot of strong serving and our passers handled the ball so we could run our middle offense.”

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Brainerd jumped to a 6-2 lead in the First Set before a Cardinals time out sparked a 9-1 run for Alexandria.

The Cardinals pushed their lead out to 21-16 before Brainerd’s second time out and won Game One 25-17.

“I told them before the match started that defense was going to win this game,” Warriors head coach Rick Kuehlwein said. “And our defense was awful today.”

Alex transferred the momentum into Game Two when they jumped out to a 6-0 lead. Brainerd fought back to tie it 10-10, but the Cardinals closed the Warriors with a 15-5 run to win Game Two 25-15.

“Too many hitting errors,” Kuehlwein said. “We were out of sync most of the night and those hitting errors can mushroom. Twenty-four hitting errors. I mean that’s 24 points. They out hustled us and we didn’t pass well.”

Alex and Brainerd played Set Three evenly until a quick Alex run made it 13-8 Cardinals forcing Brainerd to call time.

The Cardinals finished Set Three on a 17-5 run to complete the sweep 25-13 in Game Three.

“I was extremely impressed with our team,” Bryne said. “They were really focused and they were ready to play. We were coming off a tough loss to Willmar, but they really worked hard in practice and stepped up their game. This is a huge momentum boost for us because Brainerd’s a nice team.”

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Kate Stadum led the Warriors with nine kills and added eight digs, two blocks and an ace serve.

Meghan Smith tallied 16 digs to lead Brainerd and registered six kills. Hala Davis recorded a team-high five blocks to go along with four kills and three digs.

Myah Nelson tallied 11 set assists while Aden Yost had eight.

“We want to focus on the good things,” Kuehlwein said. “We talk a lot about team synergy. We were just not in sync at all tonight. We try to tell them to focus on the pass, move their feet a little bit better, change your platform or your angle and we were just on our heels way too much.”

Brainerd will look to get back in the win column against Rocori Thursday, Sept. 23.

Alexandria 25 25 25
Brainerd 17 15 13

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Brainerd statistics
Kate Stadum 9 kills, 8 digs, 2 blocks, 1 ace serve
Emma Storm 4 digs
Ella Anderson 2 digs
Myah Nelson 11 set assists
Hala Davis 4 kills, 5 blocks, 3 digs
Karley Dunham 1 kill, 1 block
Aden Yost 6 digs, 8 set assists
Meghan Smith 6 kills, 1 block, 16 digs, 1 ace serve
Iyana Pickar 1 ace serve, 2 digs, 3 blocks, 1 kill
Abby Paulson 3 blocks, 4 digs

Alexandria 3, Warriors 0

Key: Brainerd had trouble getting in sync against the Cardinals

Conference: Brd 3-3, Alex 4-1.

Overall: Brd 6-5, Alex 7-1.

Next: Brainerd at Rocori 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23.

CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or conrad.engstrom@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.

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