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Rugby hopes to build on good start

By Staff | Sep 17, 2009

Rugby dropped its first two matches of the season, but since then has been on a tear.

The squad has three wins in its next four, and head into its District 11 opener this week in Towner beaming with confidence. The question is can the squad continue that strong play?

Rugby coach Brenda Olsen certainly thinks so, adding the team has looked sharp, particularly at the net. She also likes how her team competes for every point.

“There is just no quit in this team,’ she said, “and I think a lot of that has to do with the strong senior leadership.”

The Panthers are doing a lot of things well, but there is always room for improvement and Olsen pointed out he team still need to clean up its passing and limit its unforced errors.

If the team can do that, it stands a good chance to make a

strong bid for a top two finish in the district standings. Rugby has not finished higher than the third seed in the district since 1997, and this may be its best opportunity. Olsen said there isn’t that one or two programs that are head and shoulders above the rest.

Rugby will face its first district opponent this Tuesday, Sept. 22 when it travels to Towner-Granville-Upham.

M-Leeds gets tested early

Minnewaukan-Leeds opens its District 8 schedule facing arguably the top two teams in the district – Rolla-Rock Lake and Langdon.

Win or loss, those matches will be a good measuring stick for the Lions, according to first-year coach Lindsey Illerbrunn.

“We’re going to be tested in all areas,’ she said. “Basically, we are going to see where we are at, and where need to get better (to compete against the top programs).

The Lions have just two wins in their first six matches, but Illerbrunn has been pleased so far with he team’s serve receive, noting that was a point of emphasis during preseason drills.

One area the squad must address is unforced errors. M-L committed a season-high 45 in a loss to Wells County earlier this month. “You’re always going to have some in match, but you just can’t have that many,’ she said.”We’re getting better to reduce them.”

Rolette-Wolford eyes district win

Rolette-Wolford is still seeking its first District 8 win, and will get two opportunities to earn this week at home. The Comets play Adams-Edmore on Sept. 22 and then rival Rolla-Rock Lake on Sept. 24.

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