Volleyball: Bengals stay poised near the top of the conference standings

Sports Editor

A busy weekend kept several volleyball teams active at tournaments including in our own backyard where Blaine (13-7) placed third at its own home tournament, falling to Wayzata by scores of 25-17 and 25-12 on Oct. 3.

The Bengals went 2-2 at home with three-set wins over North St. Paul and St. Michael-Albertville and a 2-0 loss to Class A powerhouse New Life Academy.

Blaine junior Laura Snyder, middle, splits between Andover blockers, Sarina Smith and Taylor Finnes during the Bengals 3-2 win at Andover Sept. 29.Photo by Bill Jones
Blaine junior Laura Snyder, middle, splits between Andover blockers, Sarina Smith and Taylor Finnes during the Bengals 3-2 win at Andover Sept. 29.Photo by Bill Jones

The Bengals matched a season-high winning streak at four after the win over the Polars. They added two Northwest Suburban Conference wins during the week including a 3-2 win (19-25, 25-17, 25-18, 21-25, 15-10) at Andover Sept. 29 followed two nights later by a 3-0 sweep (25-16, 25-20, 27-25) past Anoka at the Blaine fieldhouse.

For Andover, Sarina Smith and Elle Hagstrom had 17 and 12 kills each, while setter Hope Feist had 30 assists and Liza Danczyk had 29 digs.

Blaine traveled to Apple Valley for the Eagle Invite Sept. 24-25 and faced some very tough competition while coming away with a 1-3 record. The Bengals lost 0-2 matches to Chaska and Class A power Bethlehem Academy before closing out the tournament with a 2-0 win over Lakeville North.

Andover senior hitter Taylor Finnes, left, during the Bengals 3-2 win at Andover Sept. 29.Photo by Bill Jones
Andover senior hitter Taylor Finnes, left, during the Bengals 3-2 win at Andover Sept. 29.Photo by Bill Jones

As of Oct. 5, Blaine is one-half game behind Totino-Grace and Osseo for second place in the Northwest Suburban Conference standings with a 6-1 mark. Totino-Grace and Osseo are at 7-1 while Champlin Park is 8-0 and 11-1 overall.

Anoka to miss Slater
Anoka junior outside hitter Abby Slater will miss the remainder of the volleyball season after undergoing successful knee surgery recently. Coach Chris Fenwick said the loss is a huge blow since she was one of the few players he played around the entire court. To make up for the loss, Fenwick rotated Kori Hoenigschmidt and senior Brittany McNallan into the starting lineup.

The Tornadoes split two matches at the Duluth East Invite Saturday knocking off Class A Nevis 2-0 before losing to Grand Rapids also to a 2-0 score.

Huskies earn split to end September
Andover split its matches at the Farmington Invite, losing to Jordan 2-0 before a 2-1 win over Winona Sept. 19.

Since then the Huskies scored 3-0 wins over Armstrong and Park Center but came up short in a 3-0 loss to Osseo and a 3-2 loss at home to rival Blaine Sept. 29.

The sweep over Park Center came on Oct. 1 when the Huskies won by scores of 25-7, 25-12, 25-11. Sarina Smith led the way with 14 kills and 3 aces while setter Hope Feist had 13 assists and Jordyn Wiley added 12 assists. Middle blocker Veronica Hondl dominated the net with 8 blocks and 4 digs. Liza Danczyk led the way with 16 digs.

PACT snaps streak
PACT Charter School is 5-2 since a 3-1 win over Maranatha Academy Sept. 15. PACT recorded four wins in a row over Hmong Academy, Trinity School, Bethany Academy and West Lutheran before losing a five-set match at Christian Life Monday by scores of 25-20, 25-23, 22-25, 24-26, 15-13.

PACT opened the month with a 3-1 MCAA Conference win over West Lutheran, Oct. 1.

Cardinals down Irondale
It took five sets but Coon Rapids snapped an eight-match losing streak by way of a 3-2 Northwest Suburban Conference win over Irondale Sept. 29 by scores of 26-24, 14-25, 25-21, 15-25, 15-11.

The Cardinals were led by Hannah Godzala with 10 kills, 10 digs; TiAnn Yost with 30 assists and Allison Yang with 36 digs.

Coon Rapids lost five matches aganist some of the top programs in the state – Minnetonka, Chanhassen, Tartan, Faribault and Big Lake – at the Chanhassen Tournament Sept. 26.

Coon Rapids also went 0-3 at the Braham Invite on Oct. 3, losing to Albany, Princeton and Braham.
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