Isabella Westerholm

Junior Isabella Westerholm tries for a spike in Prior Lake's three-set home loss to Northfield Aug. 29 (25-16, 25-14, 25-4).

It's been a tough start for the Prior Lake volleyball team.

Ranked No. 7 in the preseason Class 3A poll, the Lakers have been swept in their first two matches, including losing at home to Northfield Aug. 29 (25-16, 25-14, 25-4).

Prior Lake opened the season Aug. 23 with a three-set loss at No. 5-ranked East Ridge (25-20, 25-9, 25-11).

It's way too early to panic, but the Lakers certainly looked like a team in transition in the loss to Northfield. Prior Lake struggled with its serve receive, its passing to the net, finishing offensive sets, communication and it blocked multiple spikes that went out of bounds.

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.

The Lakers are home to Chaska Sept. 3 and Minnetonka Sept. 5. Both teams are section foes and both matches start at 7 p.m. Prior Lake will play in the Southwest Minnesota Challenge in Marshall Sept. 6-7.

The Lakers open the South Suburban Conference season Sept. 10 at No. 2 Lakeville South at 7 p.m. Prior Lake follows by playing home to both No. 1 Eagan Sept. 12 and No. 8 Lakeville North Sept. 17. All three matches start at 7 p.m.

A new Class 3A poll will be released Sept. 2 and the Lakers will likely drop out of the 10. To see the new poll when it's released, go to http://www.mnvbca.org.

Tom Schardin covers sports for Savage and Prior Lake. He is dependable, sarcastic and always joking around. Tom enjoys running and swimming and is often busy coaching his two kids' sports teams.

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