The Eden Prairie Eagles volleyball team looked very comfortable most of the time in their 3 sets to 1 win over the Faribault Bethlehem Academy Cardinals tonight in Eden Prairie.

The gym was old and smaller than BA's Van Orsow.  I was told Eagles Head Coach Chad Becker loves the intimacy with the fans on top of the court.  There were a number of students in attendance from Eden Prairie and they made lots of noise.

Cardinals Head Coach Chris Bothun was not upset with the loss by her preseason #5 ranked Class 1A team to one of the biggest schools in the state.

Coach Bothun said Stewartville last week, Eden Prarie this week and Mayer Lutheran next week are great oppotunities to play talented teams.  Then see what BA needs to work on before getting too deep into the regular season.

Eden Prairie came out on fire winning the first set 25-15 with 6'3 senior Kendall Minta and 5'11 senior Paige O'Connell leading the way.

Minta had 5 kills and a ace serve while O'Connell smacked 6 kills.  The Eagles had just two hitting errors in the first set.

The Cardinals returned the favor in the second set winning 25-19.  BA scored while Minta was not on the floor which might be the answer to how you defeat the powerful hitting Eagles.

Senior Ellie Cohen had 5 kills, junior Lindsay Hanson 5 kills and junior Kate Trump 2 ace serves in the win.

The third set Eden Prairie re-establshed O'Connell and Minta after they were limited to 3 total kills in the second set.  Minta dominated at the net with 4 kills, 4 blocks.  O'Connell clubbed 3 kills in the 25-14 Eagles win.

Bethlehem Academy came back more than once before falling in the 4th set 25-18.

It was Eden Prairie's home opener.

Minta finished the night with 13 kills by my count.  She also had 2 ace serves.

O'Connell added 12 kills and a fifth set ace.  Junior 6'0 Evelyn Skattum came on in the final two sets to produce 6 kills and 2 blocks.

Junior Cardinals libero Mia Potter improved as the night went on to receive our Malecha's Auto Body Crunch Time Faribault Player of the Match.  Also receiving that honor were Cohen and Trump with 12 and 10 kills respectively.

One thing Bethlehem Academy did well was make adjustments from set one to set two but in the end Minta was dominant on the slide play all night. O'Connell was very good at slamming the ball right at defenders.

I counted 31 total errors for the Cardinals in the 4 set match.  The Eagles finished with 30 miscues.

BA has their home opener Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. when #1 Class A Mayer Lutheran goes to Van Orsow Auditorium.

Eden Prairie hosts Lakeville South 5:00 p.m. Thursday.  The Cardinals are 0-2 while the Eagles 2-0 to start the season.

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