It had the appearance of an easy sweep early on.
It wouldn’t turn out to be easy, but it would be a sweep.
After quickly putting away the first set, Upsala found itself behind late in each of the next two, yet calmly took the second and swatted away an Eagle Valley set point in the third in a 25-10, 26-24, 26-24 home win, Tuesday.
Senior Brooke Westrich slammed 12 kills and five aces and senior Danica Cheney recorded 10 kills and three aces to power the Cardinals offensively.
Senior setter Kristin Wuebkers distributed 30 assists and senior Mariah Prokott had a team-high nine digs, while junior Kiley Smieja added six kills, sophomore Katlin Welinski had four kills and three blocks and senior Jessie Evoniuk had three aces.
The Cardinals improved to 7-2 on the season with the win, a drastic improvements from last year’s 1-6 start.
“I am so proud of the hard work the girls have been doing in practice and it shows in the way we are playing,” Upsala head coach Leah Merten said. “I knew the potential of these girls and knew we would have a great season. I look forward to the rest of the season and hope to see continued success.”
Upsala also earned a 25-19, 25-9, 23-25, 25-10 Prairie Conference win over visiting Swanville, Sept. 4.
Cheney produced 19 kills on the night, followed by Westrich with 11 and Smieja with eight.
Wuebkers had 31 assists, Prokott had 15 digs and six assists and Smieja picked up seven blocks.
Senior Danica Hanson had five kills and 10 digs and junior Rachel Evans made nine digs for Swanville.
Upsala also competed in the Litchfield tournament, Sept. 6, defeating Paynesville, Litchfield and Buffalo Lake-Hector to open the day before falling to Annandale and Litchfield in the third-place match.
Swanville picks up big win
Swanville came out on the winning side of a strenuous back-and-forth contest with visiting Browerville, Tuesday, prevailing 16-25, 27-25, 23-25, 25-22, 15-12.
The Bulldogs relied heavily on the duo of senior Stephanie Koetter and Hanson, both of whom produced 16 kills.
Junior Haileigh Sales recorded 30 assists, while sophomore Madison Beseman had 17 digs and senior Simone Grittner had 13 digs and three aces.
Swanville also fell in three sets at Verndale, Monday.
Royalton splits pair
Royalton grabbed the first set from reigining Prairie Conference champion Osakis, but the host Silverstreaks took the final three in a 23-25, 25-13, 25-15, 25-10 win, Sept. 4.
The Royals bounced back with a four-set win at Long Prairie-Grey Eagle (LPGE), Tuesday.
Senior Abby Duevel had six kills, senior Haley Olson and junior Olivia Gall each added five kills and senior Jenna Skajewski had 24 digs versus Osakis.
Duevel had 10 kills, sophomore Brandi Kloss had eight kills and Olson recorded 25 assists against LPGE.