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Woodbury volleyball: Bounce-back wins buoy Royals as sections near

A season that has been up and down for the Woodbury volleyball team continued throughout the last week.

After losing to Hopkins and Benilde-St. Margaret's in the first two rounds of the St. Michael - Albertville Tournament last Friday, the Royals bounced back with three straight wins on Saturday against Souris, Hastings and Belgrade - Brooten - Elrosa. Not only did the Royals win those games, they dominated them, going in 6-0 in as many sets.

The question facing the Royals then became whether or not they could bounce back during the week, something they have had trouble doing this season.

The troubles continued.

On Tuesday, Woodbury lost 3-1 to Cretin - Derham Hall and fell to rival East Ridge 3-2 on Thursday.

Cretin - Derham Hall (18-3 overall, 8-0 SEC) sits in first place in the Suburban East Conference and has won nine straight games. Head coach Linda Crum knew that game would be a challenge, but East Ridge (14-12, 6-2 SEC) was a beatable team, and with a win, Woodbury would have elevated itself to a three-way tie for fifth place in the SEC. Instead, the Royals (6-12, 3-5 SEC) will settle for seventh place, ahead of White Bear Lake (5-19, 1-8), Park of Cottage Grove (6-15, 0-7) and Hastings (5-17, 0-7).

There are just two more games left for Woodbury to make a late-season surge before sections begin. The good news for Woodbury is that it plays at home in both games. More good news for Woodbury is that it plays a beatable team to open the week. On Tuesday, Woodbury hosts Forest Lake (10-11, 4-4), a team that is 5-1 in its last six games, but just 1-3 in the four games before that.

Eagan (18-2, 8-0) will come to town on Thursday, which might be the biggest challenge Woodbury will face all season. According to, the Wildcats are ranked fifth in the state. Eagan has won six straight games, going 17-1 in those sets.

Woodbury hopes for a win on Tuesday, followed by consistency on Thursday, hoping to build momentum going into sections. Crum acknowledged at the beginning of the season that it isn't where the team is going into the season, but instead ending it. Well, the season has flown by and is coming to an end. If there were ever a time for the Royals to make a run, the time is now.