Girls Volleyball Team Wins Championship
Tuesday, November 14, 2006 8:45 PM

One year ago, a group of 7th grade girls shocked the volleyball communi¬ty when they went to Roosevelt High School for the city volleyball cham¬pionship and defeated the higher-seeded Folwell team. During last year’s regular season the Folwell team beat Lake Harriet four out of six games. However, strong play and determination led to the Middle Grades Volleyball Championship going to the Lake Harriet Dragons.

Now, fast forward to last Wednesday night, the same Roosevelt High School gym and the Lake Harriet Volleyball team, just one year older. This group of girls were bound and determined not to fall victim to the same fate as Folwell last year. Nothing short of the same championship would do. The girls opened up tournament play at home last Monday versus Folwell. They played two matches against the Folwell team during the regular season and had finished with five wins and one loss. However, this night the Dragons made quick work of their opponent, finishing Folwell’s season in 2 quick games. This meant we were on to the championship round. Wednesday’s championship would be against neighborhood rival Anthony. The last time these two teams met in the regular season Anthony beat Lake Harriet in one game. That was all the confidence Anthony needed going into their final meeting.

A large Lake Harriet fan base showed up to cheer on the Dragons, and on this particular night they would not be let down. The first game was played like two boxers sizing up their oppo¬nents. Each team made early mistakes which kept the game close. As the game moved along it looked like Anthony was getting the upper hand on the conference champs. Coach Val called a time-out to “rally the troops” and give them words of encouragement. That time-out was what the doctor ordered.  Something clicked in the Dragons and they picked up their level of play. Elizabeth Robinson whose serve eluded her earlier in the game, was now able to smash five serves over the net that the Anthony girls had no chance of returning; this spark is what the team needed. They took the lead and never looked back.; they won the first game, 25-13. The second game was a little closer than the first. The game got extremely close toward the end. It seemed as if the 25th point would never come. In response to the Dragons’ large lead, the Anthony team put together one last rally. They were not about to go down without a fight. But in the end, when a Folwell player hit the ball into the net for our 25th point, the celebration was on. The final score was 25-18.

This is the Lake Harriet girls’ second straight middle grades volleyball championship. They finished the season with a remarkable 45-7 record. We are very proud of the hard work and commitment each player put into this season. You gave us a lot of joy and excitement during the season. Thanks also to Valerie Wardas and her coaching staff for dedicating their time to the girls’ program. Your knowledge and support has been an inspiration to Lake Harriet Athletics. Once again, congratulations Dragon Volleyball, way to bring the trophy home!!! Go to the Lake Harriet web page and click on the sport section to view pictures from the championship game.