<CENTER><B>Girls win opener Friday</B></CENTER>
In what was the season-opening match for both teams, Luverne fell behind early in all three games only to rally and nail down consecutive wins in front of the home crowd in the Elementary School gym.
When the match was complete, the Cards had to feel good about outscoring their opponents 45-20 during their first match.
"All in all, it was a good first win," said Cardinal coach Mary Jo Graphenteen. "It's always nice to open the season with a win because it makes it easier to move on."
After falling behind 1-0 in Game 1, Luverne put together a 7-0 rally featuring two kills and a tip by Susan Remme, one kill by Tracey Scheidt, an ace serve and a service point from Missy Boomgaarden and another point by Leah Lundgren to gain a six-point advantage.
Fulda scored five of the next eight points to trim Luverne's lead to four (10-6), but a pair of kills by Abbey Franken, a kill by Remme, a tip by Lundgren and a point from Lisa Mulder made up a 5-0 run that clinched a 15-6 win for LHS.
The Cards trailed 2-0 before putting together a 10-point run in the second game to gain an eight-point cushion.
The rally featured one service ace and four more points from Lundgren, two kills and two ace serves by Remme and another kill by Emily Kuhlman.
Fulda scored five of the next eight points to trim the difference to six points (13-7) before a kill by Franken followed by a point from Lundgren iced a 15-7 win.
Luverne faced a 3-2 deficit in Game 3 before Franken produced three kills and a tip, Erin Lammert served a pair of aces and Scheidt added a service point during a 7-0 run that gave Luverne a 9-3 lead.
The Raiders rallied to pull within three points at 10-7 before the Cards posted a 15-7 win with two ace serves and another point by Lammert, a kill by Melissa Kopp and an ace tip by Lundgren.
"There were not a lot of long rallies during match, which makes it tough to get into your offense. We did have a couple of coverage breakdowns on defense, but that will only get better with time. Everybody got a chance to play, which is always nice. Whenever you can get all the players in the match it can only help down the road.
Lundgren, who recorded 23 ace sets, was 16 of 18 with 13 points at the service line. Lammert was 15 of 15 with 11 points and five aces.
Remme and Franken led the way at the net with nine kills each. Scheidt chipped in one kill.
The Cards host Sioux Valley-Round Lake-Brewster and Adrian tonight and Tuesday respectively. Luverne competes in the Sioux City (Iowa) Tournament Saturday.