BY DAVID PEDERSEN
Delano was one point away from upsetting No. 6-ranked Shakopee before being on the wrong end of a controversial call and lost the tie-breaking set 16-14 to open the volleyball season.
“Since my coaching here this is the most exciting season opener I have witnessed,” said coach Rebecca Rue. “I was very pleased with our overall ball control both on defense and serve receive. Our girls battled every step of the way.”
Delano also lost 18-25 and 22-25, while winning 25-14 and 26-24. Elle Heinonen, Tori Hanson and Amanda Hanson took a majority of the passes on serve receive and they averaged 2.4 on a 3-point scale against a tough serving Saber team.
There were many lead changes throughout the match with set five being very intense, notes Rue. With the Tigers leading the final game 14-13, a call went Shakopee’s way or Delano would have won the match. Instead, the Sabers scored the next two points to edge out the win.
Delano kill leaders were Amanda Hanson (24), Shelby Seurer (23), Jordan Meyer (10) and Bria Barfnecht (7). Heinonen led with 20 digs and three ace serves. Tori Hanson had 18 digs, Seurer had three blocks and Kreklow had 52 set assists.
“I was happy with our hitter’s shot selection and I thought Kristin did a great job of getting the ball where it needed to be,” adds Rue. “Although they keyed on Amanda and Shelby, through smart offense these ladies still found a way to earn a combined total of 47 kills. Shakopee had a hard time containing them.”
Rue did find some areas for improvement after having 13 net violations and only five blocks. The coach adds, “Overall, this match was a good confidence booster for our team.”
In the second match of the season last Thursday, Delano defeated Buffalo 3-0. Amanda Hanson had 10 kills and 10 digs. Seurer had 14 kills and six blocks and Heinonen had three ace serves.
The Tigers play host to conference newcomer New London-Spicer, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11.