Volleyball: Albany turns back Zimmerman 3-0

A challenge by Zimmerman was met and repelled by the Albany Huskies on Tuesday evening.

The Huskies solidified their hold on first place in Granite Ridge Conference with a 25-15, 25-17, 25-18 conquest of the Thunder in Albany.

“We struggled passing,” said Thunder coach Rita Belka. “They are a good team and they took us out of our game early, and we were not able to bounce back.”

Albany is 8-0 in the GRC and 14-5 overall. Zimmerman, Mora and St. Cloud Cathedral are all 6-2 in conference. The Thunder (14-4) had won 12 of their previous 13 and were trying for another W that would have tied them for first place.

Albany’s outside hitters Callie Manthe and Amizeh Eickhoff led with 11 and eight kills, respectively. Sam Schlangen provided 31 assists and two kills. Cassie Shaver led with 10 kills and four aces.

The Huskies fired 12 aces in the three games.

“I think our serving disrupted the offense Zimmerman was trying to run,” said Huskies coach Annette Brewer, “and that had a lot to do with how i came out. Zimmerman has a great team with some hard hitters. We were fortunate to come out on top.”

For the Thunder, Nikki O’Keefe had nine kills, Brooke Borchardt eight, Amber Magnuson four and Gabby Antolak three. O’Keefe had 16 digs and Bailey Bircher Keymes eight. Borchardt made five blocks, and Magnuson and Antolak three each. Amanda Meleen made 21 assists.  O’Keefe had two aces.

The Thunder will play at Princeton on Thursday.