Rangers earn No. 6 seed in section
Ranger volleyball won in five over Woodbury last Tuesday in an exciting away match for Forest Lake fans, ending strong with a 15-5 score in set five.
Forest Lake beat the Royals 24-26, 26-24, 22-25, 25-23, 15-5 and finished 2-2 at a tournament last weekend, bringing its overall record to 13-13 and upping its conference standing to the No. 5 spot with a record of 5-4.
Ranger middles, senior Miranda Haug and junior Mariah Daninger, dominated on offense. Haug recorded 21 kills and a .359 kill efficiency, while Daninger put away 10 hits at a .471 kill efficiency to accompany 16 blocks on defense, effectively shutting down the Woodbury attack on the night. Junior Chelsie Bethke added five kills, five blocks and 11 assists.
Senior Katelin Kruger anchored the defense with 19 digs, followed by Bethke with 11 digs and senior Carli Kirchner recording 10 for the Ranger back row.
Senior Brenna Blake commanded the court from the setting position with 25 set assists and serving at 95 percent.
Head coach Sherri Alm said it felt great to watch the girls “stepping it up in game five and slamming the door shut.”
Forest Lake also traveled to the Rochester Century Invite on Friday and Saturday and split four matches, a disappointment to Alm.
“[I was] hoping that we would show that we were ready for sections,” Alm said. “Didn’t exactly show me what I would like, but certainly helps to regain some focus.”
The Rangers started slow against Rochester Mayo on Friday evening, losing the first set 15-25 before coming back stronger in the second, losing a close one 26-28.
Senior Hanna Morris led the Rangers on offense with seven kills, while Haug recorded four on the match.
Libero Katelin Kruger led from the back row with seven digs, senior Chelsea Lautiger had six digs and Morris ended with five. Blake set 14 assists against the Spartans.
Forest Lake went on to win handily 25-18, 25-18 over Kingsland. Where sophomore Emily Lindstrom led with six kills, and Morris and Haug each had four. Kruger again led on defense with eight digs and Morris with six. Blake recorded 16 assists.
On Saturday, the Rangers lost their first set against Hayfield in another close match, losing the first set 20-25 and second set 25-27.
Daninger led the way with six kills, Morris with four and Haug with three kills. Alm said the girls struggled to get going again, and “were not sharp.”
The Rangers closed the tournament with a 25-19, 25-15 win over St. Louis Park, during junior Caitlin Freer led both the attack and back row with five kills and eight digs. Bethke added five kills, while senior setter Rachel Shumaker recorded 13 assists.
Forest Lake received the No. 6 section seed and play No. 11 Duluth Denfeld on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at home, starting at 7 p.m. With a win, the girls will travel on Friday, Oct. 26, to play No. 3-seed St. Francis at the Fighting Saints’ home court.