TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10

WOODBURY 3, MAHTOMEDI 0

The bleachers were packed with parents, families, students and youth volleyball players on youth night at the Woodbury girls' volleyball match on Tuesday night.

Many of the fans were excited about the night to see if the Royals could continue their perfect season against Mahtomedi. It took little time for the Royals to improve their record to 8-0 on the season with a 3-0 sweep over the Zephyrs.

The strong start to the season has been a hope for the players and coaches, but the perfect record isn't the focus for the season ahead.

Sophomore Braiziah Dixon jumps over the net to record a kill on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at Woodbury High School. The Royals completed the 3-0 sweep over Mahtomedi to improve their record to 8-0 on the season. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia
Sophomore Braiziah Dixon jumps over the net to record a kill on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at Woodbury High School. The Royals completed the 3-0 sweep over Mahtomedi to improve their record to 8-0 on the season. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia

"We've been playing together as a team throughout the beginning of this season and it's fun to see as a coach," said Woodbury head coach Brad English. "They have a will to win and that shows each game played."

The first set started off strong for the Royals as they were using their strongest skill on the team. Woodbury has relied on its serving to record more aces and take some big leads early in the sets.

That came on Tuesday night as Courtney Cahill served a handful of points in a row and extended the Royals lead to 10-4 in the first set. Woodbury was able to eventually win that set in a 25-18 final score.

The second set was quicker and controlled completely by the Royals as they won 25-9, but the third set took some determination to win. Woodbury was up 24-14 and looked to control the third set, but Mahtomedi came back on a run to make it 24-21 before the Royals were able to record that last point and win 25-21 to sweep the Zephyrs.

The Woodbury girls' volleyball back row gets ready for the Mahtomedi serve on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at Woodbury High School. The Royals swept the Zephyrs 3-0 to keep their perfect season alive. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia
The Woodbury girls' volleyball back row gets ready for the Mahtomedi serve on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at Woodbury High School. The Royals swept the Zephyrs 3-0 to keep their perfect season alive. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia

"These girls never give up on a set or a point," English said. "They always believe they can win a set and they work together to get the lead back and win the set."

English said he's proud of the girls and their work effort both in practice and in matches. He has a lot of depth with a lot of good players on the team, which means he has the ability to put more players onto the court each night.

English added that he would much rather be on the court playing because he enjoys the sport so much, but being on the sideline is a cool experience as well for him.

"It's fun to see them have fun each match," English said. "We just need to continue working hard this season as we gear up for the conference season."

The conference season will start for the Royals on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m. as Woodbury travels to Mounds View. The Royals will have an entire week to prepare for their first conference match of the season.

Senior Courtney Cahill sets the ball to one of the Woodbury hitters on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at Woodbury High School. The Royals showed a strong match with a 3-0 sweep over Mahtomedi. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia
Senior Courtney Cahill sets the ball to one of the Woodbury hitters on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at Woodbury High School. The Royals showed a strong match with a 3-0 sweep over Mahtomedi. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia

English understands how difficult the Suburban East Conference will be this season and he's excited to see how matches unfold with each match this regular season.

"I have a lot of respect for the programs in our conference," English said. "I'm looking forward to learning more about these teams and working hard throughout this regular season."

English took a moment on Tuesday night to talk about the youth night that happened at Woodbury High School. He thought it was a special night to see the younger volleyball players that look up to many of these varsity players.

"It's so important to have these types of night to bring the community together," English said. "It's great to have this opportunity to share the love of volleyball with our community members and for these girls to show their love each match."