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Volleyball: Park defeats Woodbury to win home tournament

Park players gather to celebrate a winning point in the tournament finals against Woodbury. (Bulletin photo by John Molene)1 / 5
Woodbury's Carly Hawley (3) and Aja Bright (14) go up to try and block a shot in game two of the finals against Park. (Bulletin photo by John Molene)2 / 5
Woodbury's Gretchen Schweitzer shoots from the corner against the defense of Park's Victoria Bade. (Bulletin photo by John Molene)3 / 5
Madison Hawks of the Royals tries to split a pair of Park blockers in game one of the championship match in the Park Invitational Tournament Saturday. (Bulletin photo by John Molene)4 / 5
Park's Mercedes Klein hits over a Woodbury defender in game two of the Park Invitational Tournament finals Saturday. (Bulletin photo by John Molene)5 / 5

Park headed into its home invitational tournament Saturday with a modest 2-9 record.

The Wolfpack left with five straight wins and a tournament championship, beating Woodbury 25-16, 25-15 in the finals.

“We had a remarkable day,” said Park coach Kristina Jameson. “Our ball control was very good. Our hitting percentage was high. Our seniors really took control and led the team. We blocked well, we blocked really well. We led our hitters and talked about their hitters a lot more than usual, so that was good to see, too.”

“It was a really great team effort,” Jameson added. “(Victoria) Bade distributed the ball really well, and it was really hard for the opposing teams to follow. She had great set selection and just did a remarkable job, and she played really good defense. All our defenders really stepped up their defensive game and our block was nice and solid. So it was good to see everything kind of come together today.”

Park defeated Highland Park 26-24, 25-20; Woodbury 26-24, 25-22; St. Paul Harding 25-4, 25-18 and St. Paul Academy 24-26, 25-20 to reach the championship game.

“I think we did really good,” said Bade. “I feel like we really improved. The last few games we were really getting down on ourselves, mostly attitudes. And today we just changed everything, like flipped it all around and the outcome was good.”

Woodbury topped St. Paul Academy 25-14, 25-16; Harding 25-18, 25-13 and Highland Park 22-25, 25-20 to gain the finals.

“Overall I think it was a really good day,” said Woodbury assistant coach Caitlin Roberts. “We played really well as a team, which is something we have been struggling with. But today finally our offense and our defense was all working together as a cohesive unit.

“Gretchen (Schweitzer) had a really great day,” Roberts added. “She worked on a lot of shots on offense. Her defense was great, digging, some really hard hitters. And then I would say our middles did a really great job hanging in there, getting a lot of kills. And on defense, Skyler Zilles did really well in the left back, too.”

Both Park and Woodbury return to Suburban East Conference action next. Park hosts East Ridge (13-6, 3-2), while Woodbury hosts Stillwater (10-6, 5-1), both games on Tuesday