The Medford Tigers outscored the Zumbrota-Mazeppa Cougars 25-9, 25-15, 26-24 in Medford tonight.  The latest Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association Poll has Medford ranked #4 in Class  A.

Last season's state runnerup lost their season opening match at a volleyball showcase event on the opening weekend to Minneota in a rematch of last season's State Title match.  Tigers Head Coach Missy Underdahl told KDHL it was a difficult atmosphere to play in. "Take nothing away from Minneota but there were not many fans there, they didn't announce lineups or anything.  It felt more like a scrimmage.  The Vikings have been there previously and it was our first time."

Medford was ranked #2 in the preseason poll and Minneota #4.  I predicted after that loss the two teams would flip positions in the poll and that's exactly what happened.

The Medford student body was vocal the entire match and said thank you a lot.  Every time the opponent has a hitting error they shout, "Thank you."

Medford cruised in the first set against Zumbrota-Mazeppa with a 25-9 win.  I counted 12 errors by the Cougars in the set. 9 of those errors were hitting errors.

Z-M played better in the second set but were still plagued by errors with 10 more (hitting errors, setting errors, blocking errors, serving errors.)  7 of them were hitting errors.

Medford appeared a bit sluggish in the third set and some of that might be due to Zumbrota-Mazeppa making some nice adjustments on their block in particular.  I counted the Tigers with 9 errors in the set.

Zumbreota-Mazeppa Improves their Block. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Zumbreota-Mazeppa Improves their Block. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld

Coach Underdahl was not particularly pleased with her team's focus in the third set saying they appeared to take the "foot off the gas."  The Tigers coach noted for "Whatever reason the girls stopped getting the ball to the middle."

When she got the ball, junior, 6'0 Kinsey Cronin was very efficient.  Cronin finished with 11 kills (9 in the first two sets).  Senior, 5'10 Alyvia Johnson added 9 kills, 11 digs.  Senior 5'9 Emma Kniefel had 9 kills, 6 digs.

Senior setter, 5'7 Morgan Langeslag finished with 31 set assists, 6 digs.  Senior libero Kiley Nihart had 8 digs, 3 ace serves in the match.

My statistics had Zumbrota-Mazeppa led in the kills department by senior 5'11 Jakalyn Arendt with 6 kills.  Junior 5'9 Tenlee Magnuson had 5 kills.

The match started at 7:25 p.m. and ended at 8:30 p.m.

Medford hosts United South Central Thursday with the varsity match starting at 7:15 p.m.

Zumbrota-Mazeppa is at Byron Thursday night at 7:15 p.m.

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