After so many senior stars graduated with the class of 2019, the Forest Lake volleyball team has a new face at nearly every position this fall.

The reconstituted Rangers played their opening match of the new season Aug. 27 and handed Hill-Murray a straight-sets defeat, winning three times by identical 25-17 scores.

Photos from the home victory provide the subject of our first Sports Gallery, a new weekly feature we hope you will enjoy.

Junior right-sider Jamie Ihfe led the offensive effort against the Pioneers with nine kills, while junior middle hitter Maddie DeMars and senior outside hitter Josie Olson each ended with five. Two senior setters divided the assists, with Hanna Zlab making 17 and Ally Joslin 15; Zlab was also the serving leader with three aces. Leading in digs were junior libero McKenna Andrews and senior outside hitter Kate Gemeunden. Senior middle hitter Abby Drury was responsible for three of the teams’ five solo blocks.

The Rangers faced the toughest possible follow-up to their victory, welcoming defending Class AAA state champions Champlin Park to Forest Lake on Aug. 29. The Rangers won the first set 27-25 before the champs reeled off sets of 22-25, 19-25 and 18-25 to take the match.

The Rangers (1-1) were due to host another state champion, Class AA titlists North Branch, on Tuesday after press time. They’ll be on the road at Anoka Thursday, Elk River Sept. 10 and Cretin-Derham Hall Sept. 17 before returning home for a Sept. 19 clash with Mounds View. All the games begin at 7 p.m.

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