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Volleyball: Eagles cruise past St. Paul Harding

Sophomore outside hitter Rachel Tateosian of the Eagles splits the St. Paul Harding defense with a shot in game two Wednesday. (Photo by John Molene)1 / 3
Abbie Swenson of the Eagles hits a hard shot against St. Paul Harding Wednesday in the Class 2A, Section 4 playoffs. (Photo by John Molene)2 / 3
New Life Academy's Mackenzie Porupsky serves in game three. (Photo by John Molene)3 / 3

New Life Academy easily advanced with a win Wednesday in the Class 2A, Section 4 volleyball quarterfinals, and now the competition gets much tougher.


The sixth-seeded Eagles soared past visiting and 11th seeded St. Paul Harding in the first round of section play, winning, 25-14, 25-9, 25-10.


“Our team didn’t play down to them and what we always try to do if we face lighter competition is to play our game,” said New Life Academy coach Wally Bomgren. “We run our plays pass the ball well, serve smart, play good defense – we want to see all six people moving when the ball comes our way and we had that tonight. I was really happy with them tonight.”


New Life Academy improved to 12-16 on the season. St. Paul Harding ended its season with a record of 11-13-1.


“I think our communication went really well,” said sophomore outside hitter Kate Rogers. “Also we had a lot of energy. We brought some freshmen and a couple JV players up and I think they really added to the energy and the whole bond of the team.


“I think we’re playing really well,” Rogers added. “At this point in the season, we’re right around where we expected to be. We could do better when it comes to energy sometimes. But we’re doing really well as far as team chemistry goes.”


Next up for the Eagles is a section quarterfinals match at third-seeded St. Paul Central (18-6) on Friday, starting at 7 p.m.


“I think our section is going to be really interesting when you look at a lot of team kind of rebuilding and losing a bunch of seniors last year,” said Bomgren. “We know that we can play with anybody as long as we play real well. We have our ups and downs, but this team has had some matches this year – we can easily play with these teams that are in our section. I don’t think we’re outmanned. I think we’ll be right there. Our team has got such good team chemistry and they like each other so much, that there’s kind of that hidden element that could work strongly in our favor. ”