Cardinals burst past Blossoms in five games

Published 10:25 pm Monday, October 21, 2019

BLOOMING PRAIRIE — The No. 9 LeRoy-Ostrander volleyball shook off a nightmare start to rally past No. 8 Blooming Prairie by scores of 8-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-20, 15-12 in a Section 1A West Tournament opener Monday.

The Awesome Blossoms led the final game 7-4 before, the Cardinals (8-15 overall) made their move. Nicole Freerksken, who had a career-high 34 set assists, served back-to-back aces to put L-O up 10-7 and freshman Jordan Runde hit a key back-line kill to put the Cards up 13-9. Libertee Smalley put down the last two points for L-O.

LeRoy-Ostrander’s Sam Volkart goes up for a hit against Blooming Prairie in BP Monday. Rocky Hulne/

The Cardinals played with high energy in the final four games after their slow start. Freerksken said leading the second game from start to finish gave them all of the momentum they would need.

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“The first one really killed us, but when we came out and killed it in the second game, that brought our energy back up,” said Freerksen, a senior. “It’s been a challenging year with bringing some of the younger players up, but everyone has put their work in for it and everyone fought hard tonight to win this match.”

LO, which will play at top-seeded Kenyon-Wanamingo at 7 p.m. Tuesday, had trailed 10-6 in the fourth game before bouncing back to stave of elimination.

Micalyn Trihuse goes up for a hit against LeRoy-Ostrander in Blooming Prairie Monday. Rocky Hulne/

“Our energy was out of control,” L-O head coach Lindsay Haney said. “This is the time I knew they were all year. I have no words to say how proud I am of these girls.”

Micalyn Trihus had 30 kills in the loss for BP (12-13 overall).

LO stats: Samantha Volkart, 13 kills, 1 block; Kayden Schulte, 5 kills, 21 digs; Libertee Smalley, 9 kills, 5 blocks; Sidney Lewison, 6 kills, 21 digs; Nicole Freerksken, 34 set assists, 15 digs, 2 aces; Gracie O’Byrne, 25 digs, 3 aces; Jordan Runde, 5 digs, 1 block

BP stats: Heather Pirkl, 1 ace, 14 assists, 5 digs; Julia Worke, 1 ace, 16 kills, 22 digs; Maggie Bruns, 2 kills, 14 digs; Maren Forystek, 14 digs; Maya Lembke, 2 aces, 8 digs; Megan Oswald, 4 kills, 4 blocks; Micalyn Trihus, 30 kills, 3 blocks, 5 digs

Gracie O’Byrne makes a dig for the Cardinals in Blooming Prairie Monday. Rocky Hulne/