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Woodbury volleyball: Royals fall to 3-6 on year

By looking at the record, you might think the season has been rough for the Woodbury volleyball team.

At the beginning of the season, head coach Linda Crum and her team had goals of competing for a Suburban East Conference title and even perhaps making a run in the section tournament.

Now at 3-6, these goals might seem out of reach, but with two big conference games this week, Crum is confident that her team will be just fine.

"With every match, we look for specific things we are trying to improve at," Crum said. "I try encourage players to look at a loss is worthwhile if it allows us to win in October."

The Royals will have the chance to redeem themselves and make the climb back to .500 and up in the SEC standings this week.

Woodbury has played just three conference games this season and are 2-1 in those games, so despite their bad overall record, the team still sits in fifth place in conference standings behind Cretin-Derham Hall, Stillwater, Roseville, East Ridge and Mounds View.

The Royals will get the opportunity to face two SEC rivals in Stillwater (10-3 overall, 4-2 SEC) on Tuesday and Mounds View (7-6, 2-2) on Thursday. These two games are make-or-break games for the Royals.

"Any match is an opportunity for us to become a better team," Crum said. "That being said all those opportunities allow us to be better in our conference."

Crum would like nothing more than a 2-0 week from her team.

"I think it's very crucial and very important to go 2-0," Crum said. "Our goal is still to finish in the top-three in our conference. We have a strong conference there are teams in our conference that can head to the state tournament. These teams are well-coached and have great athletes."

Senior Sara Biermaier leads the team in kills, while fellow senior Abyssinia Andualem-emiru leads the team in assists and service aces.

Crum also noted that junior Monica Johnson and senior Kelsie Nowicki have played very well this season and led the team in Thursday's win over White Bear Lake.

Despite the improved play as of late, Crum still says her team has improvements to make.

"I think confidence is big for us," Crum said. "We have 12 seniors and not all have been full-time players. a level of high confidence will be important during our toughest stretch.

If the Royals leave the tournament with a winning record and can sweep Stillwater and Mounds View the week after, the SEC battle and Woodbury's hopes could drastically change for the better.