A somewhat disappointing volleyball season for the Park Wolfpack just got a whole lot better Tuesday night.
Park topped visiting Woodbury in straight sets – the first non-tournament win for the Wolfpack over the Royals in at least five seasons.
And not only did the Wolfpack win; they did so convincingly, recording a 28-26, 25-19 and 25-20 victory.
It was a sweet triumph for the 10 seniors on the Park varsity.
“It’s a big deal,” said Park senior Victoria Bade. “We haven’t beaten them … for a while. We went to five with them last year so beating them in three this year is, like, a big deal and we’re super excited about it.”
Park had topped Woodbury in tourney matchups -- include a 2-0 win last season -- but it had been at least five years since the Park Wolfpack won in Suburban East Conference play. Woodbury had swept the Wolfpack in three in the 2011 through 2014 seasons.
“Their energy was there, and our stats look really good,” said Park coach Kristina Jameson. “We played great defense. The first set we let three balls drop in the same spot. After we talked about how that wasn’t going to happen again, the girls didn’t let it happen again. Defensively we had fire, finally, and it was wonderful to see all girls going for the ball continually.”
Park improved its record to 2-6 overall and 1-1 in the conference.
Woodbury fell to 4-8 and 1-2 in the SEC.
The Royals looked like a shadow of the team which swept White Bear Lake last Thursday.
"We’re going to keep working hard,” said Royals coach Laura Taggart. “Obviously, we’re up and down, and we’re up and down, and a lot of it is mentality and just simple errors."
The Royals also had several playing battling illnesses Tuesday.
“We definitely looked slow and lackluster,” Taggart said. “We have some building to do.”
Park and Woodbury competed tooth and nail in all three games, but especially in the first. Park rallied from a 20-24 deficit to tie the game at 24-all. The teams were tied at 24-all, 25-all and 26-all. Park’s Bade scored a win on a tip to make it 27-26 and Woodbury mishit the next point to give the Wolfpack the win.
Park front line hitters Jordan Lamberty, Hanna Mortenson and Tori Novotny dominated the action up front. Lamberty finished with 14 kills – nine in the first game alone -- while Mortenson had 12 kills and Novotny seven.
“I felt we really came together as a team for one of the first times and pulled a lot of little successes together to make one big win,” said Novotny.
Park plays at Roseville (6-7, 2-1) Thursday.
Woodbury hosts Forest Lake (0-3, 7-9) Thursday.