The Eden Prairie Eagles volleyball team looked very comfortable most of the time in their 3 sets to 1 win against the Faribault Bethlehem Academy Cardinals tonight at Eden Prairie.
The gym was older and smaller than BA’s Van Orsow. I’ve been told that Eagles head coach Chad Becker enjoys the intimacy with the fans at the top of the court. There were a number of students present from Eden Prairie and they made a lot of noise.
Cardinals head coach Chris Bothun was not upset by his No.5 preseason Class 1A team losing to one of the state’s top schools.
Coach Bothun said that Stewartville last week, Eden Prarie this week and Mayer Lutheran next week are great opportunities to play against talented teams. Then see what BA needs to work on before getting too deep into the regular season.
Eden Prairie came out on fire by winning the first set 25-15 with Kendall Minta 6’3 senior and Paige O’Connell 5’11 senior in the lead.
Minta had 5 kills and an ace serve while O’Connell had 6 kills. The Eagles had just two typing errors in the first set.
The Cardinals returned the favor in the second set by winning 25-19. BA scored while Minta was off the ground which could be the answer to how you beat the mighty Eagles.
Senior Ellie Cohen had 5 kills, junior Lindsay Hanson 5 kills and junior Kate Trump 2 aces serve in the victory.
The third set Eden Prairie restored O’Connell and Minta after being limited to 3 wins in total in the second set. Minta dominated at net with 4 kills, 4 blocks. O’Connell clubbed 3 kills in the Eagles 25-14 win.
Bethlehem Academy came back more than once before losing in the 4th set 25-18.
It was Eden Prairie’s home opener.
Minta finished the night with 13 kills by my count. She also had 2 ace serves.
O’Connell added 12 kills and a fifth set ace. Junior 6’0 Evelyn Skattum entered the final two sets to produce 6 kills and 2 blocks.
Junior Cardinals Libero Mia Potter improved as the evening wore on to receive our Malecha’s Auto Body Crunch Time Faribault Player of the Game. Cohen and Trump also received this honor with 12 and 10 victories respectively.
One thing Bethlehem Academy did well was make adjustments from set one to set two, but in the end Minta dominated the slide deck all night. O’Connell was very good at slamming the ball straight at defenders.
I counted 31 errors in total for the Cardinals in the 4-set game. The Eagles finished with 30 errors.
BA has its home opening Tuesday at 7.15pm when Class A Mayer Lutheran heads to the Van Orsow Auditorium.
Eden Prairie welcomes Lakeville Sud at 5 p.m. Thursday. The Cardinals are 0-2 while the Eagles are 2-0 to start the season.
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