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Worthington earns first victory of the season

ROUND LAKE -- With a 3-0 victory over Round Lake-Brewster, the Worthington Trojan volleyball team earned their first win of the season Tuesday.

"They played well and did some of the things that we talked about," Worthington head coach Jen Clark said. "They kept some of those things together, and it worked for us tonight."

Worthington (1-1) won the first two games 25-18 and 25-16, respectively. The third, and final game, was the closest of all the games, as Worthington won in thrilling fashion, 25-22.

"(The win) really boosts our confidence after the loss to Fulda, even though it was close," Worthington's Lizzy Wetering said. "It makes you feel a lot better about the season ahead of you."

After winning the first two games, Worthington jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third, but Karen Schmitz's kill got RL-B (0-1) on the board and started a 10-2 run for the Raiders.

Trailing 10-6, Clark called a timeout to settle down her Trojans.

However, Kasey McNab had one of her three aces for the game to push the lead to five.

Leading 16-9, RL-B looked to be on the verge of winning the third game. However, Worthington came roaring back.

The Trojans went on a 13-2 run, aided by four of Holli Aggen's 13 kills on the night.

"They did a good job of coming back after the timeout, and they were able to get back in it and fight their way back," Clark said. "So many times in the past, we haven't been able to do that. Once we're down and things start to go south for us, we tend to have that attitude that we're done."

Wetering said the two-game lead helped the teams' confidence.

"I was feeling pretty good, because we had those two games under our belt," Wetering said. "But it was really hot, and I think that made us want to work harder. I think we kept attacking."

But the Raiders were not going quietly. After Anneli Dudley scored on one of her seven kills on the night, RL-B trailed 22-18.

The Raiders fought back to tie the game at 23, but an errant serve and a lift call gave the Trojans their final two points for the 25-23 victory.

"It's disappointing, but it's also nice to get that first game out of the way," RL-B head coach Jami Cummings said. "It's always nice to win at home, but you win some and you lose some."

One key for the Worthington team was their defensive play at the net.

"We blocked better tonight than we did on Friday night," Clark said. "We talked a lot about keeping that positive mental focus. There were a couple of times where we had to stop and regroup, and get it together. They really did a good job of coming back at the end."

Dudley led the Trojans with eight blocks, while Ally Rotert had six.

On the other side, Cummings said she was disappointed in the Raiders blocking.

"We did not do a good job of blocking," Cummings said. "There are some of them that can't be played, but we watched some that should have been played."

Worthington's Dudley and Aggen set up the Trojan hitters with 19 and six assists respectively.

In the first game, Worthington jumped out to an early four-point lead, but could not break away from the Raiders, as the two teams battled throughout the entire game as Worthington came away with the 25-18 victory.

"We missed a couple of big serves in the first game," Cummings said. "We missed three serves in a row, so that was a big momentum swinger."

In the second game, Worthington once again had an early lead, and led by as many as eight at one point. Alyssa Smith had one of her two kills on the night to put the final touches on a Trojan 25-16 victory.

McNab led the Raiders with 46 set assists, while Sarah Schmitz had eight kills.

RL-B will have a week off before traveling to Harris-Lake Park Tuesday.

Worthington will be on the court again Thursday at New Ulm.

"This is a good boost for us going into Thursday," Clark said. "We know that we still have to work on stuff and it's not going to be easy, but we're going to go at it and give it our best shot."