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Woodbury volleyball: Duluth East tops Royals in season opener

Most coaches would say a loss is never a good thing - especially when it comes in three straight sets.

While head coach Linda Crum and the Woodbury Royals volleyball team would have loved to beat the Duluth East Greyhounds on the road to start off the 2012 campaign on August 27, there were a few positives after losing 27-25, 25-22 and 29-27.

The good news? The Royals challenged Duluth East and kept things interesting.

The bad news? A loss is a loss and the Royals (0-1), for the second consecutive season, have started the season 0-1 by losing to the Greyhounds.

On a more positive note, Duluth East finished last season with a 22-5 overall record, ranked No. 18 in the state according to Crum has stated before that she would rather challenge her team and lose rather than beat a team that doesn't challenge the Royals.

In the Suburban East Conference, Woodbury finds itself near the bottom of the standings, but with only one game played, it's probably not something Woodbury players are losing any sleep over. Roseville and White Bear Lake are the only teams to have played a conference game yet, with Roseville winning, putting its overall record at 3-0 overall and 1-0 in conference play. White Bear Lake on the other hand, is 0-3 overall.

After 12 days off, the Royals will next play in Mound for a tournament involving Sauk Rapids-Rice, Mound-Westonka, Spring Lake Park, Becker, St. Anthony Village, Rogers and Rockford. None of those teams play in the Suburban East Conference, but they will give the Royals some more "practice" before conference play begins on Thursday, Sept. 13 as Woodbury travels to play Park in Cottage Grove. The Wolfpack has yet to play this season.

It's likely the Royals will want to make quick work of the Wolfpack, a team that struggled last year, finishing last in the SEC with a 0-9 conference record and a 2-20 overall record. Woodbury beat Park in three straight sets last season.