After beating Minneapolis Southwest 3-0 on Thursday, Sept. 5, the Eden Prairie High School volleyball team ran its overall record to 9-1.

“You couldn’t ask for a better start than that,” said Eden Prairie coach Chad Becker.

But?

“We could easily be 10-0,” he added.

The Eagles fell 2-1 to Bloomington Jefferson in the second round of its own Pudas Invitational (Saturday, Aug. 31). The Jaguars beat the Eagles 25-23, 16-25, 15-11.

On the first day of school (Sept. 3), the Eagles traveled to Lakeville South and upset the No. 2-ranked Cougars 3-2.

Eden Prairie rallied from a 2-1 deficit to win the fourth set 25-19, the fifth set 15-9.

“We started slow and out of sync,” said Becker. “With a fast start, I think we win 3-0.”

What gives?

When asked about his team’s early-season success, the coach credits balance.

“We have five different players who can score,” he said. “When you have that kind of balance, it keeps your opponents guessing.”

He also talked ball control, defense and blocking.

“Our blocking has been really good,” he added.

Lastly, he mentions team depth.

“We have depth at practice, which helps us compete,” said Becker.

In Thursday’s win over Southwest, everyone on Eden Prairie’s varsity roster played at least two sets.

Eden Prairie’s depth would also come in play at its tournament.

“Jess Nelson stepped in at libero when we held Mallorey (Mallorey Madson) out as a precautionary measure,” said Becker. “We went 4-1.”

Eden Prairie counted wins over Mankato East (2-0), Holy Family (2-0), Blaine (2-0) and Edina (2-0). Its only loss was to Bloomington Jefferson (2-1).

On Tuesday, Sept. 10, Eden Prairie was scheduled to play an away match at Bloomington Jefferson.

On Tuesday, Sept. 17, Eden Prairie travels to Edina.

“We’re looking forward to seeing Jefferson,” said Becker. “They beat us in a three-set tournament match. It’s three out of five when we play on Tuesday. That’s a different animal.”

Eden Prairie plays its next home match on Thursday, Sept. 19, when it hosts Buffalo.

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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