Belle Plaine's Leah Lenz (12) tried to sneak a shot past Southwest Christian's Estelle Haugen in Thursday's season opener for both teams. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
Belle Plaine coach Rich Faust went back more than a century to find his plan of attack for his team’s season-opening game at Minnesota River Conference rival Southwest Christian.
It was Wee Willie Keeler in the 1890s who said his success as a baseball hitter was his ability to “hit ‘em where they ain’t.” And that’s exactly what Faust’s Tigers, ranked No. 7 (tied with North Branch) in the Class 2A preseason coaches’ poll, did in a 26-24, 28-26, 25-19 straight-set victory over No. 6-2A Southwest Christian on Thursday.
“They are a taller, more dynamic hitting team than we are,” said Faust, who took his Tigers to a third-place finish at last season’s Class 2A state tournament. “We can’t hit through them, because they’ll just block us. I thought we did a good job of mixing up our shots and keeping them a little off balance.”
Southwest Christian hitter Paige Lemkull (15) powered a shot past Belle Plaine's Brianna Swenson. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
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