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Woodbury volleyball: Royals win Irondale Tournament, beat Buffalo last week

The Woodbury volleyball team won the Irondale Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 10. From left, front row, Olivia Wangensteen, Abby Andualem-Emiru, Skylar Stoltz, Taylor Waugh; and back row, coach Johnna Wangensteen, Sara Biermaier, Alexa Erickson, Ellyn Barker, Alex Benedict, Kelsey Shultze, Ericka Johnson and head coach Linda Crum.

The Woodbury volleyball team improved to 5-2 overall in the young 2011 season with a head-to-head win over Buffalo and four wins at the Irondale Tournament while claiming the championship crown.

To start the week, Woodbury (5-2) took down Buffalo (3-3) in comeback fashion, winning three grueling games after falling behind 2-0. After dropping the first two games, 25-22 and 25-20, Woodbury won the third game 26-24, the fourth game 28-26 and the fifth game 17-15. In the fifth, and deciding game, Woodbury was down 14-12 before coming back to win it.

"After a slow start, the team came together and worked hard mentally and physically to put together the win," Woodbury assistant coach Johnna Wangensteen said.

In the match, Olivia Wangensteen led the way. The senior outside hitter was the team leader with 18 kills, to go along with 10 digs and two kills. Wangensteen was followed by junior outside hitters Abyssinia Andualem-Emiru and Sara Biermaier, who each had 13 kills, Woodbury senior defensive specialist Sarah Sweeney had a team-high 12 digs, and Biermaier had three blocks, while senior Alex Benedict had two blocks. Junior setter Kelsey Schultze had a team-high 23 set assists, followed by Andualem-Emiru with 19.

Following the win, Woodbury won all for of its Irondale Tournament games defeating host Irondale (5-4) by a 2-0 score (25-23, 25-18) in the final, after beating Park Center 2-1 (25-23, 14-25, 15-10), Simley 2-0 (25-13, 25-23) and FAIR Downtown 2-0 (25-4, 25-5) in the preliminary rounds. Individual statistics from the tournament were not made available.

Woodbury opened Suburban East Conference play against intra-district rival Park on Tuesday, Sept. 13, after the Bulletin went to print.

Next, the Royals travel to Hastings to face the Raiders (5-3) on Thursday, Sept. 15.