Livia Hagberg

Junior middle Livia Hagberg (No. 4) tries to finesse a shot over Saint Michael-Albertville’s block. The Knights would beat the Eagles 22-25, 25-22, 23-25 and 25-27.

With two matches and one tournament remaining before the start of the all-important Section 2AAA Tournament, the Eden Prairie High School volleyball team has some homework to do.

“We’re still working on our slow starts,” said Eden Prairie coach Chad Becker.

Two weeks ago, Eden Prairie dropped a highly competitive 3-1 decision to Saint Michael-Albertville. The score was 22-25, 25-22, 23-25 and 25-27.

While Becker would like a few points back, a bigger problem was an inability to finish.

“We need to find that comfort zone for the end of sets,” he said. “Right now, we’re over thinking things. If it gets to 21-23, it’s oh-my-gosh, I can’t make a mistake.”

As a remedy, the coach uses what he calls “situational scenarios.”

“At practice, we start sets at 23-23,” he said. “We have to learn to play 23-23, or 23-24, the same way we’d play 0-0,” he said.

On Sept. 27, Eden Prairie would fall 3-0 to No. 9-ranked Minnetonka.

Starts and stops were issues.

After losing the first set 25-17, Eden Prairie held a 23-21 lead in the second.

“We lost that set 26-24,” said Becker.

Eden Prairie led 16-13 in the third set when Minnetonka called a timeout.

“After the timeout, we won one more point,” said the coach.

On Tuesday, Oct. 1, Eden Prairie bounced back from the Minnetonka loss with a business-like 3-0 win over Chanhassen. The Eagles won 25-18, 25-18 and 25-13.

“They’re a section team,” said Becker, “so that’s an important win.”

On Thursday, Oct. 3, Eden Prairie fell 3-0 to No. 3-ranked Wayzata.

“They’re formidable and the played like it,” said the coach.

Wayzata beat Eden Prairie 25-9, 25-20 and 25-16.

Eden Prairie plays in the Lakeville North Tournament this weekend. Next Thursday, they end the regular season with a home match against No. 1-ranked Eagan.

Sports editor

Dan Huss covers Eden Prairie sports and especially loves reporting on sports features and outdoors-related adventures. He lives in Shorewood with his wife, Marnie, daughters Aili and Britt, and Wilma, a pheasant-finding Deutsch Drahthaar.

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