Chargers pull past Wolverines Monday

Westbrook-Walnut Grove and Mt. Lake Area were both looking for late-season momentum Monday in Mt. Lake. After splitting the first two sets, WWG seized control of the match from the service line, pulling away for a 3-1 victory over the Wolverines. Game scores were 25-23, 16-25, 25-9 and 25-19.  “We got out to a great start and did some nice things early,” MLA Coach Cheri Hanson said. “We had them down 9-1 in the first game before our passing started to slip. We came back strong in the second set, but really faded in the third set before playing tougher in the final game. “Our inconsistency got the better of us. We slid some girls around and had some great nights on offense, but we struggled passing at times.” WWG had a strong night at the service line, led by Talitha Horkey. Horkey went 27-of-27, firing nine aces. Emma Wahl went 16-of-16 with three aces and Madison Dennistoun was 11-of-13 with three aces. Brittany Erickson led WWG at the net with 15 kills. Alli Vande Kieft added four kills. Wahl had 20 digs and Halle Steen finished with 14 set assists. For the Wolverines, Jenneel Rodney and Margo Stoesz each had eight kills. Anna Kirk chipped in six kills. Stoesz went 24-of-24 serving with two aces while Rodney was 11-of-11 with two aces. Destiny Sybounheuan had 29 set assists and Taylor Naas finished with 22 digs. WWG closed the regular season last night (Tuesday) at Wabasso. The Chargers open the Section 3A playoffs Monday against Red Rock Central in Lamberton. MLA closed the regular season last night (Tuesday) at Springfield. The Section 2A playoffs are scheduled to open Monday. Seedings are expected to be announced today (Wednesday).

Wolverines win in five

Mt. Lake Area got a big lift as sub-section seeding approaches Thursday night, defeating Madelia 3-2 at Mt. Lake. Game scores were 25-21, 25-20, 15-25, 19-25 and 15-13. “It was a completely different performance than we had earlier in the year against Madelia,” Wolverine Coach Cheri Hanson said. “We made some adjustments on defense and mixed things up on offense and got a lot of great performances at the net.” Marta Stoesz led the way at the net with 13 kills. Margo Stoesz added seven, followed by Saige Wall with six and Jenneel Rodney with five. Rodney added four solo blocks in the win. Margo Stoesz went 21-of-23 serving with two aces. Anna Kirk had three aces on 12-of- 13 serving. Destiny Sybounheuan finished with 34 digs. Taylor Naas had 25 digs.

Dragons thump MLA

Mt. Lake Area struggled in the back row all night Tuesday, as Adrian rolled to a 3-0 sweep at Adrian. Game scores were 25-10, 25-11 and 25-3. Marta Stoesz and Margo Stoesz each had three kills to lead MLA. Margo Stoesz went 7-of-8 serving. Rylie Tollefson and Destiny Sybounheuan each went 5-of-5. Sybounheuan had seven set assists. Taylor Naas, Margo Stoesz and Marta Stoesz each had three digs.

Playoffs get underway next week

Next week, fall sports teams will go into “win or go home” mode. The Section 2A volleyball playoffs are scheduled to get underway Monday, while the Section 3 Nine-Man football playoffs begin Tuesday. While the dates for the start of the playoffs are known, the matchups are not. Section 2A volleyball coaches will vote on seeding today (Wednesday), with the playoff pairings likely to be known this afternoon. There are 12 teams in the south sub-section for Section 2A.

Using the Minnesotascores. net QRF formula, the Mt. Lake Area volleyball team is ranked ninth in the sub-section with a 4-18 overall record. If MLA wins up with the ninth seed, potential firstround playoff opponents include Janesville-Waldorf- Pemberton or Martin Luther/ Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman. MLA would play Monday at 7 p.m. on the road if it is seeded ninth or lower. The Wolverines were scheduled to close the regular season last night (Tuesday) at Springfield. The Wolverines also have a win over Madelia on their resume. Madelia currently has a 10-17 record and is fifth in the sub-section QRF rankings. If the Wolverines would be seeded seventh or eighth, it would host a first-round matchup Monday. In football, the situation is more complicated ahead of tonight’s (Wednesday) regular-season finales. MLA is one of five teams currently with a 4-3 record in Section 3 Nine-Man: MLA, Westbrook-Walnut Grove, Edgerton-Ellsworth, Hills-Beaver Creek and Nicollet. Nicollet appears to be at the biggest disadvantage. The Raiders are in a different sub-district and have not played any of the four teams it is tied with. Also at a disadvantage is Mt. Lake Area, which lost to EE and HBC and does not play WWG. WWG lost to EE, but defeated HBC, while HBC defeated EE. That means that the top five seeds come down to tonight’s (Wednesday) games. WWG plays at Heron Lake-Okabena. EE is at MACCRAY. HBC is at Russell-Tyler-Ruthton. MLA is at Fulda and Nicollet is at Buffalo Lake-Hector- Stewart.

Wolverines roll past Wildcats, now 4-3

Mt. Lake Area raced to a big halftime lead and coasted to a 48-0 victory over Heron Lake-Okabena at Mt. Lake. The Wolverines played much of the game without starting quarterback Abraham Stoesz and fullback Jeff Wright, who were nursing injuries. But that didn’t slow down the Wolverine offense or defense early, as MLA scored 34 first quarter points. “We were able to get a lot of guys on the field and everyone contributed,” MLA Coach Tim Kirk said. “Getting off to the fast start we did, we were able to get a lot of subs into the game and give our younger guys some varsity experience.” MLA got on the board with a 1-yard Reynaldo Capetillo run. Then, after a three-andout by HLO, the Wolverines cashed in for a 10-yard strike from Abraham Stoesz to Drake Harder. On HLO’s next possession, the Wolverines pinned HLO deep in its own end and blocked a punt out of the end zone for a safety. Weston Osland added a 20- yard touchdown run and A.J. Vongsy caught a 13-yard pass from David Larson for a 34-0 lead after one quarter. “Defensively, we played a tremendous first quarter,” Kirk said. “HLO is a little shorthanded and we wanted to get out quick. We were able to block a punt for a safety, get the ball back and turn that into another touchdown. The defense really didn’t give them much in the first half. “We ran a couple of different guys at quarterback. We got Abe a couple of reps, but Weston and David both did a nice job.”

Capetillo then started the third quarter with an 80 yard touchdown run. Vongsy scored on a 3-yard run before halftime, giving MLA a 44-0 lead. HLO scored its lone touchdown late in the fourth quarter on a 6-yard pass from Eli Fest to Wyatt Schumacher. Capetillo rushed three times for 111 yards. Osland had 56 yards rushing on two carries and completed 3-of-5 passes for 54 yards. Vongsy had three catches for 54 yards. MLA (4-3) travels to Fulda tonight (Wednesday) to close out the regular season. “Fulda has a very nice quarterback, a good running back and a big line,” Kirk said. “We need to get and keep guys healthy if we want to make a run in the playoffs. We know Fulda is going to be hungry, but we need to come out ready to play and get guys as polished as possible. “After playing four or five games in a row that came down to the final possession, having a game like this was good for us to get some of the younger guys in the game.” The Wolverines open the Section 3 Nine-Man playoffs Tuesday. “It’s disappointing that we couldn’t get the win last week, because that probably would have sealed a top-two seed for us,” Kirk said. “It’s a logjam at the top of the section right now. We could be seeded anywhere from second to fifth, depending on how Wednesday’s games go. But we know that to make a run in the playoffs, we’re going to need to beat some good teams.”

Wolverines claim conference

The team competition at Monday’s Red Rock Conference cross country meet lived up to the advanced billing. In the boys race, Mt. Lake Area and Murray County Central went toe-to-toe. MCC used a strong pack run, but MLA placed three runners in the top five, coming away with the conference title. MLA finished with 26 team points. MCC was second with 29. For the girls, MCC won the league title with 37 points, edging Southwest Christian- Edgerton’s 41. MLA finished fifth with 115 points. Wolverine Coach Kyle Blomgren was pleased with how the day went for his runners. “It was an ideal day for running and the competition was very good,” Blomgren said. “The boys did what they needed to do to finish ahead of MCC and the girls continued to fight their way up in the pack.” MLA’s boys finished with four all-conference runners, including the conference medalist and runner-up. Nathan Runck continued his stellar season, winning the conference title with a time of 16:57. Teammate Dalton Piotter was second, finishing in 17:14. Ryan Blomgren placed fifth (17:52) and Emilio Garcia de la Cruz was 10th (18:36). Each earned all-conference honors with a top-10 finish. Finishing just out of the all-conference spots was Josiah Gardiner, who placed 12th (19:06). “Going in, we figured Nathan would be the favorite to win, but we really needed Dalton to come in second and for Ryan to finish pretty high,” Coach Blomgren said. “Emilio ran along with that big pack of MCC kids right up until the end. It would have been nice to break that pack up a little. “But Josiah wound up being key for us. He finished ahead of MCC’s sixth kid, and that gave us some critical points.”

MLA’s girls did not have any all-conference finishers, but had a handful of strong performances. Anika Fast led the way, placing 16th with a time of 23:15. She was followed by Mercedes Saengosoth in 21st (24:06). The Wolverines then had a pack, with Kate Janzen 25th (24:36), Riley Schroeder 27th (24:40), Olivia Klassen 28th (24:44) and Tiegan Meyer 29th (24:53). “Anika has been fighting a calf issue and Mercedes has been out of the lineup the last couple of meets,” Blomgren said. “With Anika, we made sure she stretched well and was warmed up well. Mercedes had been fighting a leg problem but had some of the upper respiratory stuff that’s been going around. Her legs felt fine but she was struggling to breathe well. “After that, I really liked the pack we had. We just need to keep that pack moving a little closer to Anika and Mercedes.” The Wolverines are now off until Oct. 26, when they compete in the Section 3A Meet in Madison. “We’re going up there to get a look at the course on Thursday,” Blomgren said. “It’s a flatter course with a lot of turns and curves. It really plays into the hands of the middle-distance type of runner who can really power through the curves.”

Dragon Invite

The Mt. Lake Area cross country team wrapped up the regular season last Tuesday at the Dragon Invite, held in Adrian. MLA’s boys finished third in the team standings with 108 team points. Marshall won the team title with 35 points. In the girls race, MLA finished 15th with 450 points. Marshall won the team title with 29 points. Individually in the boys race, MLA senior Nathan Runck continued his outstanding season, winning the individual title with a time of 16:47. Dalton Piotter added a seventh-place time of 17:22, followed by Ryan Blomgren in 18th (17:57), Emilio Garcia de la Cruz in 29th (18:21) and Emmanuel Fentanez in 65th (19:22). MLA’s girls were led by Sara Quiring in 89th place (25:05). Summer Janzen finished 101st (26:56), followed by Jorja Lepp in 107th (27:51), Aura Spry in 109th (28:31) and Alina Inthamthirath in 111th (28:58).