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On the attack

By Staff | Sep 8, 2009

Although an injury forced Yawen Xiao to retire in the Lakers’ second match Saturday, the 2008 All-American is expected to be back in the lineup within a week. Find more photos from the Laker Tournament at cu.esthervilledailynews.com. EDN photo by David Swartz

The temporary loss of All-American Yawen Xiao to an injury on Saturday doesn’t bother Iowa Lakes coach Scott Tschetter as he expects she can return later this week.

Although the Lakers are off to a 4-5 start after going 2-2 at their Labor Day Tournament this past weekend, Tschetter is very optimistic about what the 2009 team will be able to do.

“Once they figure things out, they’ll be fun to watch,” he said. “They’re athletic and fast enough.”

The Lakers began tournament play with a 3-1 win over Central (Neb.) College by scores of 22-25, 25-22, 25-23 and 25-23 on Friday.

But they they loss to McHenry College 3-2 by scores of 17-25, 18-25, 25-21, 25-19, 15-10.

Amy Novak goes up strong against the Iowa Central defense on Saturday. EDN photo by David Swartz

Xiao led the Laker attack with 46 kills on Friday and had three blocks against Central.

Amy Novak also had three blocks against Central.

Breanna Gourley had a combined 90 assists in the two matches while Danika Stindtman had 31 digs.

Mariah Simonson had six blocks against McHenry.

“Against Central we weren’t real sharp,” said Tschetter. “After going up 2-0, I think we were lulled a bit as Mchenry had a lot of unforced errors.”

The coach said while the Lakers had enough kills to beat McHenry, the visitors picked up their defense while the Lakers didn’t.

On Saturday, Iowa Lakes began the day with 3-0 win Region XI rival Iowa Central Community College by scores 25-20, 25-23 and 27-25.

In the final match, Xiao went down with an injury early in the second game as the Lakers lost 25-18, 25-18, 25-17 to North Dakota State College of Science.

The team practice Sunday evening and Tschetter said the focus was defense.

“Defensively, they’re still confused,” he said. “It takes a little while to understand. Tonight we were able to slow it down so they can understand it better.”

Individually, the coach said Amy Novak has been playing “all right defensively” while Rachel Nelson also “has had some nice matches.”

“Breanna did a nice job this weekend as is starting to understand the offense,” he said. “Mariah is quite a bit better offensively and we need that.”

The Lakers travel to the Kirkwood Tournament in Cedar Rapids this Friday and Saturday.