AUSTIN EDITION -- Strong West team handles Packers
MANKATO -- Austin ran into its second straight Big Nine volleyball power and once again tumbled.
The Packers, which lost to Owatonna in their opener, fell to Mankato West 15-4, 15-2, 15-11 on Thursday.
"They were a really exceptional team," Austin coach Lisa Grunewald said. "The scores don't show how we played. We played really well, actually."
West used a strong offensive attack to roll to victories in the first two games.
"Their middle hitters were outstanding," Grunewald said.
"In the first couple of games we didn't play as well as we could have," she added, "but in the third game we picked it up and showed how well we could play."
Senior Theresa Hirsch paced the Packers with 10 kills in 19 attempts. She also had five ace solo blocks and four more block assists.
"Theresa had an outstanding night blocking," Grunewald said.
Lauren Royce had four kills for Austin. Natalie Miller had 20 ace sets and Alli Tolbert and Hirsch had five digs each to lead the defense.
Angie Rohne had nine service points and one ace service and Tolbert had four points and one ace.
"Our serving was a lot better. We really improved on that so that was good to see," Grunewald said.
The Packers (0-2) will be at the Rochester Century Invitational on Saturday at 9 a.m. Austin could face Owatonna again in the tournament.
"These first two matches were tough ones. I think it's only going to be better from here," Grunewald said.