Girls again defeat Burros, fall again to Cougars

LEFT: Lion libero VaNessa Peterson returns serve during road win at Lanesboro. RIGHT: Rachel Normann sets for middle hitter Addyson McHugh against Lanesboro. McHugh was the KFIL Radio Lion Player of the Match; Norman was the KFIL game ball winner. Photos by S. Lee Epps
S. Lee Epps

Sparked by a dramatic rally in the second set, visiting Spring Grove downed Lanesboro for the second time in four days on Sept. 3. Back home two nights later in front of an enthusiastic student body, the girls could not get past state ranked No. 6 Mabel-Canton. The Lions closed the week at 8-3 (3-1 SEC) with all three setbacks coming against the Cougars, who had just chalked up their 130th consecutive conference victory.

SG 3, Lanesboro 0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-18)

Spring Grove, after taking the first set by nine points, rallied from a nine-point deficit to overtake the home team in set two. It was the most mistake-prone set for both teams. The Lions, with only 5 kills, scored only 11 points while accepting 14 error points from the Burros. 

After trailing 12-3, Grove fought back within three (18-15) before Rachel Normann served three aces along with a Brielle Neeley kill to take a 19-8 lead. A service error made it 19-19 before the Lions used back-to-back kills by Amelia Solum while sweeping the final six points.

Both teams played better in the third set, which was tied seven times before Spring Grove broke a 12-12 stalemate on the way to a seven-point win.

The Burros at times were capable but made too many mistakes to keep up with the Lions. Spring Grove scored with 27 kills and Lanesboro with 26, but the Burros also had 27 attack errors - nearly twice as many as the Lions' 14.

Spring Grove served at 93% with 11 aces (5 errors), while Lanesboro served only 85% with 7 aces (8 errors).

KFIL-Radio Game Ball winner Rachel Normann directed the Spring Grove attack with 20 set assists along with 2 kills and a team-best 4 ace serves. She paced the defense with a team-high 13 digs.

KFIL Lion Player of the Match Addyson McHugh had a strong 36% hitting efficiency while leading scoring with 12 kills, a solo block and an assisted block. Neeley (19%) added 5 kills.

VaNessa Peterson had 3 aces with only eight serves (8 for 8), Paige Jahnke (1 ace) and Amelia Solum (1 ace) also served 100%. Julia Halverson served 16 for 17 (94%) with 2 aces.

KFIL Lanesboro Player of the Match Sydney Taylor had a match-high 15 kills, and libero Malia Tessum had a match-best 24 digs.

The Lions had swept both sets against the Burros the previous Saturday at the Mabel-Canton Classic. But one of those sets had gone to 28-26.

Lanesboro (5-6, 2-2 SEC) is a much improved squad, coming into this match at 5-5 after being only 1-9 after the first 10 matches a year ago.

The Burros took the B-teammatch 2-1 (25-19, 21-25, 15-10). The freshman match went to Spring Grove, 2-0. The Lions swept both junior high matches with the seventh graders defeating the Burro eighth grade team, 2-1, and the Lion sixth graders downing the Burro seventh grade squad, 2-0.

In previous play, Spring Grove had swept both junior high matches against LeRoy-Ostrander, 2-0 and 2-0.

Mabel-Canton 3, SG 0 (25-18, 25-14, 25-12)

The match was decided at the net where the visitors hit with a healthy 24% efficiency and 40 kills (12 errors). The Lions struggled at 4% with 26 kills (22 errors).

The scoring margin was evident although more modest from the service line where Spring Grove served well at 96% (only two misfires). But the Lions could muster only one ace (Normann) against the talented Cougar receivers. M-C (95%) had four service errors but poured in nine aces.

The Spring Grove students were exuberant throughout, but especially when the score was tied at 9-all in the first set. The Cougars scored the next four points and would go on to win by seven.

Spring Grove scored the first two points in set two, but Mabel-Canton tallied the next four and would not be caught, wining by 11.

Set three was tied at 6-6 before the Cougars (12-0, 5-0 SEC) separated with another four-point spurt and would go on to win by 13.

McHugh led Lion scoring with 11 kills. Normann assisted on 23 of the 25 Lion kills while Amelia Solum had 19 digs.

For M-C, Payton Danielson had a match-high 14 kills and a team-high 17 digs.

Mabel-Canton won the B-teammatch 25-18 and 25-9. The eighth grade contest went to three sets with the Cougars taking set three, 16-14 against an all-seventh grade Lion lineup. M-C swept both sets in the seventh grade match.

This week and next

Next for the Lions is a Thursday, Sept. 12 trip to Rochester to take on Schaeffer Academy. The girls are back home next Monday, Sept. 16, against Glenville-Emmons. The next night is a bus ride to Houston. Kingsland visits Spring Grove on Thursday, Sept.19.


SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE VOLLEYBALL 2019 (through Sept. 7 matches)


Mabel-Canton….5-0 (12-0 season)

Spring Grove…3-1 (8-3 season)

Lanesboro………3-2 (8-8 season)

Houston…………2-2 (4-11 season)

Kingsland………2-2 (2-8 season)


Grand Meadow……….4-1 (12-4 season)

Randolph……………….3-1 (5-1 season)

LeRoy-Ostrander.…...2-2 (3-6 season)

Schaeffer Academy…0-4 (1-7 season)

Glenville-Emmons….0-4 (0-8 season)

Lyle/Pacelli……………0-5 (0-10 season)


Spring Grove Volleyball 2019

approximately 7:15 p.m. unless noted; home matches in bold;  *conference matches 

8 wins, 3 losses (3-1 SEC)

W at Randolph* 3-1    

W vs. LeRoy-Ostrander* 3-0


at M-C Tournament

W vs. Houston 2-0

W vs. Grand Meadow 1-1

W vs. Lanesboro 2-0

W vs. Kingsland 2-0

W vs. Rushford-Peterson 2-0

L vs. Mabel-Canton 0-2

L vs. Mabel-Canton 0-2


W at Lanesboro* 3-0   

L vs. Mabel-Canton*           0-3      

09/12   at Schaeffer Academy*

09/16   Glenville-Emmons*

09/17   at Houston*     

09/19   Kingsland*               

09/21   at Waukon Tourney 8 am        

09/24   Lanesboro*   

09/26   Grand Meadow*                   

10/01   at Mabel-Canton*

10/07   Caledonia 7 pm         

10/08   Houston*

10/10   at Kingsland*  

10/14   at Lyle/Pacelli* (Austin)


B-team Volleyball 2019

1 win, 3 losses

L at Randolph 0-2

W vs. LeRoy-Ostrander 2-0

L at Lanesboro 1-2

L vs. Houston 0-2


Freshman volleyball 2019

1 win, 2 losses

L at Randolph 0-2

W at Lanesboro 2-0

L vs. Mabel-Canton 0-2


8th grade volleyball (SG team is all seventh graders)

2 wins, 1 loss

W vs. LeRoy-Ostrander 2-0

W at Lanesboro 2-1

L vs. Mabel-Canton 1-2



7th grade volleyball (SG team is all sixth graders)

2 wins, 1 loss

W vs. LeRoy-Ostrander 2-0

W at Lanesboro 2-0

L vs. Mabel-Canton 0-2