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Woodbury volleyball: Royals fall to rival Raptors in five sets; drop to 4-10 on year

A rocky season got rockier for the youthful Woodbury volleyball team last week.

After showing a glimpse of promise on the second day of the St. Michael-Albertville Tournament in early October, the Royals have dropped four straight games, including Suburban East Conference matches against difficult competition like Cretin-Derham Hall and East Ridge.

On Oct. 9, the Royals (4-10, 2-5 SEC) fell 3-1 to Cretin-Derham Hall (18-3-1, 9-0 SEC). Later that week, the team dropped a painful 3-2 game at rival East Ridge (15-12, 7-2 SEC).

Things wouldn't get any easier for the Royals. Although they competed and kept things close, they dropped two home games to Forest Lake (8-11, 4-4 SEC) and Eagan (22-3, 8-1 in South Suburban Conference), both games went into five sets, but the Royals were unable to close things out.

A win over Eagan wasn't expected, but a win over Forest Lake would have put Woodbury in the middle of the SEC. Instead, Woodbury sits in seventh place in the 10-team SEC, above White Bear Lake (4-15, 1-6 SEC), Hastings (4-17, 1-7 SEC) and Park (3-12, 0-8 SEC).

Individual statistics were not made available.

Home games are crucial for any sport, but especially for a team that has struggled throughout the season to gain any sort of momentum. This season, the Royals are just 1-4 at home, and 2-5 on the road.

The good news for Woodbury is it's the time of year where previous records and past scores can be thrown out the window as the Section 4AAA starts this week.

From here on out for the Royals, it's win or go home. Or in this particular case, win at home on Tuesday Oct. 23, or the season is over.

On Tuesday, the Royals will play host Mahtomedi at 6 p.m.

The Zephyrs enter the game with an 11-13 overall record, including a 4-5 record against Section 4AAA teams. Mahtomedi is in the same situation as Woodbury, slumping as of late, losing five of its last six games, most recently a 3-0 loss to North St. Paul on Oct. 16.

With an inexperienced squad, the Royals found out how difficult the SEC really was this year. The next challenge will be for Woodbury to possibly make a run in the 4AAA section, raising confidence and surprising other teams.