CANBY - Over the last three seasons, the Minneota Vikings and Canby Lancers had faced off six times entering Tuesday night, with the Vikings leading the recent history of the series 4-2.
Minneota continued to get the better of the Lancers as they defeated their rivals 3-1 in an early-season matchup of two of the premier teams in the Camden Conference.
Led by 17 kills apiece from Taylor Reiss and Molly Hennen, the Vikings pieced together their four-set win with scores of 25-17, 24-26, 25-16 and 25-16. The performance eased the mind of Vikings' head coach Stephanie Hennen, who was unsure of how her team would react to playing its chief rivals after the holiday weekend.
Photo by Travis Andries
Minneota’s Taylor Reiss, right, blocks Canby’s Taylor Gorder with help from Megan Larson during the final set of Minneota’s 3-1 win over the Lancers Tuesday night in Canby.
"We've never played (Canby) this early in the year," Hennen said. "So I was a little nervous about that, but I just tried to tell my kids not to buy into all this hype about Canby-Minneota. At the end of the day, it's just another game. I thought they did a nice job of not letting the outside forces get to them."
The Vikings jumped out to an early 11-4 lead in front of a full house. Minneota continued to dominate the play during the first set, when back-to-back kills from Hennen made the score 17-8 and forced the second Canby timeout of the set.
The Lancers were unable to recover and made several errors down the stretch before kills from Hennen and Reiss closed out the set.
"We really had a lot of ball control errors," Canby head coach Amy Wagner said. "We served poorly at times. And our hitting efficiencies weren't very good. We had a lot of errors that we need to get control of."
Canby seemingly got control of those errors during a back-and-forth second set that the Lancers won 26-24. Neither team was able to pull away during the early going, but Minneota took a late 21-16 lead. Following a timeout and kill from Molly Hennen, Canby's Taylor Gorder took over.
The senior outside hitter had five of her team-high 19 kills during a 10-3 run that tied the match at one set apiece.
"Taylor really did a nice job of hitting the ball," Wagner said. "She just is a good all-around player and she really did a nice job for us tonight."
Riding the momentum of the second set, Canby jumped out to an 8-3 lead in Set 3. The Lancers forced the Vikings into several early errors, but could not extend their lead beyond five points before Minneota's defense began to take over.
The Vikings, led by the play of Shelby Corbin and Hannah Prellwitz, went on a 21-7 run, including a 7-0 run and blazing kill by Hennen to cap off the set.
"Hannah Prellwitz had some great blocks," Stephanie Hennen said. "She pulled the block a lot for Molly to open some stuff up up front. Shelby Corbin played well I thought for us tonight. I think it takes her a little longer to get comfortable on the left side. I think the more she plays, the more reps she gets, the better we're going to be."
Corbin and Prellwitz also factored in heavily during the final set.
Minneota and Canby were tied at 16 after Gorder and Reiss appeared to trade kills over an eight-point stretch in the middle of the set. But with Corbin serving, Minneota went on a 9-0 run to end the match with a Prellwitz ace block.
Corbin was 25-for-26 serving on the night with an ace, while Prellwitz had eight ace blocks during the match. Setter Megan Larson had 42 set assists for the Vikings, while her Canby counterpart, Kristy Schmidt, had 28.
The win moves the Vikings to 3-0 on the season (1-0 Camden). They continue Camden Conference play on Thursday, when they host Renville County West, and then take part in the Southwest Minnesota Challenge over the weekend.
The Lancers (3-1, 0-1), resume action with Russell-Tyler-Ruthton in Canby on Thursday and the Southwest Challenge on Friday.
Minneota25 24 25 25
Canby17 26 16 16
Serving (good-att-aces): Shelby Corbin 25-26-1, Faith Laleman 16-16-1, Taylor Reiss 13-16-0, Molly Hennen 12-13-0.
Kills: Reiss 17, Hennen 17.
Digs: Hennen 19, Megan Larson 16, Reiss 16, Corbin 14.
Set Assists: Larson 42.
Blocks: Hannah Prellwitz 8, Corbin 2, Reiss 1, Hennen 1.
Serving (aces): Hannah Jessen 1, Dani Kontz 1, Taylor Gorder 1.
Kills: Gorder 19, Ricki Kallhoff 5.
Digs: Jessen 20, Gorder 8.
Set Assists: Kristy Schmidt 28.
Blocks: Kallhoff 1.