After a torrid start, Elk River sputtered the rest of the evening and Maple Grove beat them 12-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-15 in the regular season finale Tuesday evening.
The Elks followed their 25-15 win by missing six serves in game two at Maple Grove. They played well in stretches but were never able to regain their momentum.
Meanwhile, the Crimson outside hitters pounded away at them as 6-foot Tegan LaBerge finished with 18 kills and 5-foot-7 Erin Engel added 17.
Kara Ziemer rattled off 19 kills for the Elks. Janell Finkbeiner had eight and Austyn Beese six. Finkbeiner made 19 assists and Bailey Lundquist 13. Rachel Anderson made 17 digs and Ziemer 14.
The Elks had 12 missed serves and seven aces (two each by Ziemer and Finkbeiner). The Crimson missed seven and aced five.
Both teams finished 5-5 in the Northwest Suburban Conference. The Elks are 16-11 overall and Maple Grove 13-9.
The Elks, who were 12-4 at one point, have lost seven of their last 11 heading into sectionals. They will open Section 7AA on Wednesday, Oct. 24, against an opponent to be determined.
NWSC final standings
Maple Grove 5-5
Elk River 5-5
Champlin Park 4-6
Coon Rapids 1-9
Park Center 0-10