The Prior Lake volleyball team battled for five sets for its first win of the season.
Sophomore Julia Hanson finished with 22 kills in the Lakers' home victory over Chaska Sept. 3 (25-23, 23-25, 25-17, 29-27, 16-14) in a battle of Section 2AAA foes.
Prior Lake opened the season with three-set losses to both No. 5 East Ridge Aug. 22 and No. 7 Northfield Aug. 29.
The Lakers are taking another section squad Sept. 5 facing Minnetonka at home at 7 p.m. The Lakers are in the Southwest Minnesota Challenge in Marshall Sept. 6-7.
Prior Lake will open the South Suburban Conference season against three ranked opponents, starting Sept. 10 at No. 2 Lakeville South. The Lakers are home to No. 1 Eagan Sept. 12 and at No. 4 Lakeville North Sept. 17. All three start at 7 p.m.
“We played some really strong competition and we are still in the process of figuring things out,” Lakers coach Mike Dean said. “Our areas of improvement that we focus on are entirely on what we can control. How we move our feet? How we communicate before, during and after plays? We need to improve our focus on the moment and not the past or the future.
“We know that these take time to develop, but when they do there are great opportunities for growth and improvement,” Dean added.
Last year, Prior Lake endured its first losing season since 2011 (14-16 overall). The team won three straight Section 2AAA titles from 2015 to 2017 before losing in the semifinals last year to Minnetonka.
Against Chaska, senior Dezirae Spratt finished with 14 kills, while senior Rachel Ring had 10 and junior Camille Libert recorded seven. Junior Lainey Van Hecke paced the offense with 30 set assists, while junior Emmy Benson had 15.
Libert dominated at the service line with eight aces, while Spratt had six and Ring had two.
In digs, junior Annika Evenson had 15, while Hanson had 13 and Spratt chipped in seven. Van Hecke and Benson both recorded five.
Libert and sophomore Alex Lloyd led in blocks with four each, while Ring had three.