Hastings’ volleyball notches two victories and competes in tough tournament

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Hastings girls’ volleyball notched two wins on the road last week against Bloomington Kennedy and South St. Paul. They then competed in the tough Midwest Fall Classic-STMA against some of the best teams in the state, where they went 1-4. The Raiders are 9-12 overall but 3-2 in conference.

Bloomington Kennedy

Hastings swept Bloomington Kennedy in three sets (26-24, 25-14, 25-13) on Tuesday, Oct. 4. Lexy Langenfeld led the team in kills with 13, while Mallory Brake had five. Taeler McVicker gave 15 set assists and Haley Anderson had 10 digs. Brake led in serving with four service aces and 13 serving points. Anderson had three aces and 10 serving points.

South St. Paul

The Raiders carried over their momentum from Tuesday against South St. Paul on Thursday, Oct. 6. They once again swept their opponent, winning in three straight sets (25-20, 25-22, 25-9). Langenfeld once again led the team in kills with 11, while Mallory Brake and Tori Brake each had 10. McVicker had 26 set assists and Anderson 13 digs. Mallory Brake and Anderson also led the team in serving again, Brake with 10 serving aces and 21 serving points while Anderson was second in both categories with six aces and 13 serving points.

Head coach Rita Girgen said she wants her team to carry over the momentum gained against Bloomington Kennedy and South St. Paul into the rest of the season and playoffs.

“I want to carry over the momentum and confidence,” Girgen said. “We had a last minute lineup change and the girls had to adjust to it on the fly.”

Girgen also singled out two of her players who have really helped the team with their solid play and leadership.

“Mallory Brake has really stepped up and been a leader in the first and back row,” Girgen said. “Haley Anderson has been our most consistent player and is really keeping us in matches.”

Midwest Fall Classic

Going into the tournament with the momentum from two straight wins, Hastings took some lumps against what Girgen called some of the best competition in the state.

“The Midwest Fall Classic has top teams in the state, many of them are state tournament caliber,” Girgen said. “It's a tough and competitive weekend of volleyball and we get to play against teams that we normally don't see in our regular season. This tournament tested us both mentally and physically. STMA is a great tournament for the team as we head into the end of the season.”

The Raiders went 1-4 in matches at the tournament. They fell to Wayzata (8-25, 15-25), Bemidji (24-26, 21-25) and Andover (15-25, 10-25). Hastings was then able to knock off Cambridge-Isanti (25-21, 16-25, 15-7) but then dropped their last match against Orono (14-25, 19-25).

After the tournament, Girgen identified a couple of areas that the team needs to improve upon as they finish the regular season and move on to the playoffs.

“Our serve-receive needs to improve as a whole as we finish up regular season play and prepare for sections,” Girgen said. “Our decline in delivering good passes to our setters is directly impacting what we are capable of in the front row. The team will continue to focus on bettering the ball and staying disciplined both defensively and offensively.”

Over the course of the tournament, Langenfeld led the team with 26 kills, closely followed by Mallory Brake with 20, as well as Tori Brake and Josie Pechous each had 14. McVicker had an outstanding 64 set assists and Anderson had 40 digs. Tori Brake and Anderson led the team in serving, Brake with six aces and 18 serving points while Anderson had five aces and 20 serving points.

Hastings has three conference matches left in the regular season. They host Simley on Tuesday, Oct. 11, for the Dig-Pink match as part of Homecoming and to raise breast cancer awareness. Thursday they travel to Hill-Murray and then their last match before sections is Tuesday, Oct. 18, when they host Henry Sibley.

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