Down to the wire: Packers drop opener to Lourdes in five games

Published 10:06 pm Friday, August 25, 2017

The Austin volleyball team played well with its back to the wall and forced a fifth game, but it wasn’t able to close things out, losing to Rochester Lourdes by scores of 17-25, 25-17, 25-22, 19-25, 15-8 in Packer Gym Friday.

After the Packers (0-1 overall) came back from a 10-4 hole to win the fourth game and keep the match alive, Lourdes scored the first four points of the fifth and final game and Austin never got closer than three after that.

Austin’s Jenna Braaten sets forward for teammate Avery Thompson against Rochester Lourdes Friday night at Packer Gym. Eric Johnson/

Austin senior Lauryn Bell, who had 19 digs, said the Packers, who had a few sophomores and a freshman logging in a lot of playing time, gained some confidence with how they battled back in game four.

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“I think we learned a lot. Now we know we can battle back against big teams and we know we can run plays we’ve never ran before. I feel confident for our upcoming games,” Bell said. “When we had success we were really aggressive at the net with big blocks and big hitting. I think when we were getting down, our serve receive was a little slow and they were tipping the ball where we weren’t covering.”

Austin’s Caitlin Kaercher tries to sneak one over the net against Rochester Lourdes Friday night in Packer Gym. Eric Johnson/

Austin started off strong in the first game to go up early and it held a 17-14 lead in the third game, but Lourdes (1-0 overall) rallied behind some strong serving and timely hitting.

Austin was able to take the fourth game due to some big hitting by senior Teddi Eisenberg, who had nine kills.

Austin head coach Cindy Owen was pleased with how her team opened the season and she’s hoping the Packers can show improvement moving forward.

Austin’s Lauryn Bell at the ready during game four against Rochester Lourdes Friday night in Packer Gym. Eric Johnson/

“I was pretty excited with the way we came out,” Owen said. “We went five games with Lourdes, which hasn’t happened a lot in the past. We passed very well at times and we served very well at times. The big thing for us is consistency. It’s still a little bit of a roller coaster ride.”

Austin will take a week off before competing in the Rochester Tournament Sept. 2.

Austin stats: Teddi Eisenberg, 9 kills; 25 points serving; Avery Thompson, 4 kills; 24 points serving; Jordyn McCormack, 4 kills; Caitlin Kaercher, 20 points serving, 15 set assists; Lauryn Petersen, 5 kills; Lauryn Bell, 19 digs; Jenna Braaten, 12 set assists

Austin’s Jordyn McCormack hits during game three against Rochester Lourdes Friday night in Packer Gym. Eric Johnson/