The Austin Packers picked up their first Big Nine Conference win of the season Tuesday night while defeating the Faribault Falcons in a five set thriller.  Faribault was without two of their starting players, yet nearly pulled out the match.  The Falcons started very slow, dropping the first set 25-18.  I had Faribault with just two kills the entire set and six hitting errors.  Austin had 13 kills and 10 hitting errors in their first set win.

Faribault captured the second and third sets by scores of 30-28 and 25-23 before dropping the final two sets 25-22 and 16-14.  The Falcons picked up the pace in the second set with 15 kills but still had 9 hitting errors.  The third set Faribault had 9 kills and 6 hitting errors, fourth set 11 kills and 4 hitting errors and fifth set 8 kills and two hitting errors.

There were some very entertaining volleys in the match with fans from both sides on the edge of their seats.  The Packers picked up a lot of points with the off speed attack and the Falcons had very good front row play most of the night with their blockers slowing down balls but Faribault just couldn't pick them up.

Our Faribault State Farm Insurance agents Faribault players of the match courtesy of Jason Krohn and Tony Langerud were Ellie Knutson, Bennett Wolf, Olivia Bauer and Nadia Hullett.

My unofficial statistics had Knutson with 16 kills, 5 blocks and 3 ace serves.  Bauer tallied 10 kills, Meghan Swanson 6 kills, McKayla Armbruster 6 kills , Brooke Flicek 5 kills and Bennett Wolff 3 kills.  I have not been able to keep track of assists and digs.

Good news for Faribault Falcon fans.  Knutson is the only senior in the bunch.  Wolf and Ross are sophomores and Bauer is a freshman.

After struggling mightily in the first set Faribault fought off three Austin set points and scored the win on their third set point of the second set.

It took three set points for Faribault to win the third set.  They were down 5-1 in the fifth set and came back thanks to strong serving by Hullett to take the lead. A couple hitting errors and a questionable call on a ball ruled out of bounds hit by Faribault tied the final set at 14.  The Packers then served out the match.

My View in the Austin Gym Tuesday Night. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld