LUCK – The volleyball season for the Luck Cardinals was shaken up a bit earlier in the week as they lost one of their top seniors, Isabelle Jensen, to a season-ending knee injury. Bad timing would be considered an understatement as Luck and the rest of the Lakeland Conference enter their final games of the regular season.
On Tuesday, Oct. 3, the Cardinals faced the other top team in the West Lakeland, with Grantsburg winning convincingly in just three sets. The first time the Pirates and Cardinals met the game went to five sets, with Luck taking that win. The Cardinals were undefeated in the conference entering Tuesday’s game but slipped to 9-1 and are now tied with the Pirates, who have a shot to either share the conference title or possibly win it outright.
“We have been challenged with the loss of a key player who is now out for the remainder of this season,” said Luck coach Sonja Jensen. “We will need to refocus and rise above this challenge. Grantsburg is a good team with good athletes. They came out ahead on this one and played well.”
The first set of the evening was very close and tied multiple times. Luck led 23-22 in the final moments of the first set and the Pirates took a timeout. A serving error on the Cardinals helped tie the game back at 23, and eventually 24-24. Grantsburg came up with a huge block to regain the lead and finish the set with an ace.
From there the Pirates pounced on the Cardinals, leading the second set 13-1 before Luck put their second point on the board. The Pirates won that one 25-10, and finished out the Cardinals 25-23 in the final set.
Kenna Johnson led the Pirates with 18 kills and Linda Harmon had 10 kills. Randi Siebenthal produced six serving aces and Charli Siebenthal had 29 assists. Jenna McNally had 18 digs, Randi Siebenthal had 15, and Harmon finished with 10 digs.
For the Cardinals Katie Mattson had 14 kills and Lindsay Mattson finished with eight. Brooklyn Peterson had 43 digs, Tasian Arjes had 35 and Britta Hibbs had 30 digs.
St. Croix Falls 3, Unity 1
BALSAM LAKE – The Unity volleyball team came up short in a close game against St. Croix Falls on Tuesday, Oct. 3. The Saints won the first two sets 25-19 and 25-16 before Unity took the third set 27-25. The Saints ended up winning the final set 25-23.
“Really close match, especially the last two sets,” said Unity coach Louis Colletti. “The gym was loud and the fans really brought the energy. We didn’t execute well enough in the first two sets but played extremely well in the last two. I am very proud that the girls kept fighting and believing in themselves throughout the entire match. They really came together as a team and I am hoping we can keep this momentum going until the end of the season.”
Along with a packed gym and entertaining match for the fans, it was also Unity’s Dig Pink Night. The team and community came together to help raise money in support of Unity student, Natalie Mansheim, who has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.
“We were able to raise $1,160 for Unity student, Natalie Mansheim, who is battling a brain tumor. I could not be more proud to be part of such an amazing community!” Colletti said.