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Volleyball: No. 3 North ends Irish's unbeaten streak

It took a matchup against the defending state champs to put an end to Rosemount’s 11-match unbeaten streak.

Third-ranked (Class 3A) Lakeville North got 27 kills from Alyssa Goehner and pulled away for a 25-16. 25-11, 25-19 sweep in a South Suburban Conference match that was played at Lakeville South due to electrical problems at the North gym last Thursday night.

The sweep kept the Panthers tied with Eagan at 7-0 atop the conference standings, while the Irish slipped to fourth at 5-2.

“Thursday was a tough night. Lakeville North is a good team and we needed to bring our strongest game to compete. We struggled with our passing game, which impacted our offense,” Rosemount coach Smokey Vitek said. “That just opens the door for Alyssa Goehner, their key hitter, to take over. She is tough to stop.… They set the pace and we spent most of the match chasing them.”

Brittany McLean led the visitors with seven kills. Sarah Jacobs was right behind with five kills and Justine Buckmister helped out up front with four blocks.

Brittany Morrison paced the defense with eight blocks and 32 serve receptions.

The Irish overcame a couple of one-game deficits, inconsistent play and a season-high 15 serving errors to hang on for a win over Eastview last Tuesday at Irish Gym.

“We struggled with consistency and focus. We would get into a rhythm and then make two or three unforced errors,” Vitek said. “Our players looked tired for most of the match and we got distracted by the rowdy Eastview fans.”

The Lightning, who entered with a record of just 5-13, were three points away from victory at 22-17 in Game 4. The Irish rallied to force a Game 5 and immediately took control to finish off the contest.

“We found a way to win the match, which was terrific,” Vitek said. “It was a good test of our determination and confidence.… We have not had that kind of confidence and determination within Rosemount volleyball in many years.”

The Irish took a 16-5-1 record into Tuesday’s conference road contest at Prior Lake. They play again this weekend at the 32-team St. Michael-Albertville tournament.