Volleyball: Elks top St. Francis 3-1 in opener

The Elk River volleyball team wasn’t sure if it was ready to play, but the season opener went pretty well Thursday evening.

“This is the earliest we have ever opened,” said coach Pam Gothe after the Elks beat St. Francis 21-25 25-12, 27-25, 26-24 on Thursday evening (Aug. 23). “We were saying, we need to practice some more first!”

Fierce hitting by Kara Ziemer and setter Janel Finkbeiner, along with stellar passing by Rachel Anderson, lifted the Elks.

“We had an amazing match,” said Gothe “We really swung big to the outside, left and right. Our passing kept us going. This might be the best passing team I have had.”

Ziemer, 5-foot-8 senior outside  hitter, pounded down 17 kills while making 17 digs.

Finkbeinker, senior and fourth-year starting setter, made 15 kills along with 22 set assists, and drilled eight of her team’s 12 ace serves as well.

Anderson, senior libero, led the Elks’ digging and serve-receive that fueled the attack, as the Elks out-killed the Saints 50 to 28.

The Saints,  a section rival,  have a powerful middle hitter in Maggie Ewen, who is the state’s top shot-putter and discus thrower. For the most part the Elks were able to defuse the Saints attack.

The Elks will host North Branch next Thursday.