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PREP VOLLEYBALL ROUNDUP: Trojans outlast Cardinals in 5-set victory

REDWOOD FALLS -- Worthington stayed undefeated in high school volleyball action, winning a hard-fought 3-2 match over previously undefeated Redwood Valley Thursday night in the Southwest Conference opener for both squads.

Game scores were 27-25, 25-18, 17-25, 23-25 and 15-13.

"We came out strong and ran our three-option offense effectively," said WHS head coach Melissa Schutz about the Trojans' victories in the first two sets.

"But in the third and fourth sets, we were back on our heels a bit and our serves were right at them, rather than in the gaps -- which allowed Redwood to get its offense going and start attacking."

The Trojans had difficulty containing the quick strikes of Cardinal middle-hitter Abby MacHolda, but adjusted to her as the match progressed.

"We regrouped well and came back to win the fifth set after losing a close battle in Game 4," summed up Schutz. "We were able to get our blockers up earlier and that seemed to help control MacHolda."

The Trojans (3-0, 1-0) again had a well-balanced attack which included strong serving performances from five girls and had the trio of Martha Alwal (25), Kristen Andersen (nine) and Megan Juber (eight) combine for 42 kills.

At the serving line, Samantha Thuringer (21-of-22), Taylor Heidebrink (17-of-19) and Juber (16-of-18) each had an ace, while Anderson (16-of-18) had a pair of aces and setter Meagan Meier (15-of-18) had a team-high three ace serves.

Heidebrink and Meier were charted with 22 and 19 set assists, respectively, while Thuringer (17), Juber (11) and Andersen (nine) led the Trojans in digs.

Mackenzie Gerber had three solo blocks for WHS and Alwal had two.

The Trojans will play Saturday in the Mankato West Tournament at the Taylor Center.

SWC 3, RRC 0

JEFFERS -- Spreading the ball around and utilizing a balanced hitting attack, Southwest Christian defeated Red Rock Central in three straight sets in the Red Rock Conference opener for both squads.

Game scores were 25-22, 25-17 and 25-19.

Abby DeGroot was a perfect 13-of-13 at the serving line, including a trio of aces for the Eagles, while also being charted with 13 set assists.

Morgan Spronk had a strong night at the net for SWC as she spiked 10 kills and came up with four blocks.

Hannah Bosma had a trio of blocks for the Eagles and Michaela Zienstra contributed nine set assists, while Megan DeRuyter and Britney Mouw paced the SWC defense with 12 and nine digs, respectively.

Brooke Rasmussen (15-of-15) and Alyssa Fredrickson (13-of-14) each had an ace as they both served well for the Falcons.

Fredrickson was a force at the net with a match-high 12 kills to go along with three blocks.

Klarissa Larsen (eight kills) and Fern Engen (three blocks) also contributed along the front line for RRC, while Cierra Nickel had a big night setting, racking up 27 assists.

Chloe Arfsten (19) and Alison Kircher (12) combined for 31 digs for the Falcons (2-2, 0-1), who will compete in the Westbrook-Walnut Grove Tournament Saturday.

The Eagles (3-0, 1-0) are at the Luverne Tournament Saturday.

Adrian 3, Edgerton 0

ADRIAN -- Sydne Springman enjoyed a solid all-around night for the Dragons, helping Adrian notch a Red Rock Conference sweep over Edgerton.

Game scores were 25-18, 25-22 and 25-16.

Springman was 23-of-24 from the serving line, scoring 21 points, including three aces. She also contributed 14 set assists, nine kills and four blocks for the Dragons (2-1, 1-0).

Nichole Loosbrock and Courtney Vaske each served for seven points, while Karli Meyer hammered down nine kills.

Loosbrock had 12 set assists for AHS, while Vaske, Meyer and Rachel Kontz each came up with five digs.

Leading Edgerton (0-2, 0-1) at the net was Racheal Steffl with five kills and five ace blocks.

Megan Timmer served for eight points, including an ace.

Jessica Menning (five) and Kayla VanGrootheest (four) combined for nine set assists for EHS, while both Steffl and Van Grootheest had five digs.

Both teams play in tournaments Saturday, as Edgerton is at Luverne and Adrian travels to Westbrook-Walnut Grove.

SSC 3, H-BC 0

OKABENA -- Getting contributions from lots of players, Southwest Star Concept opened its Red Rock Conference schedule with a sweep of Hills-Beaver Creek.

Game scores were 25-10, 25-18 and 25-17.

Kelli Schmitz, Courtney Place, Mandy Henkels and Jordin Elness each served for nine points to spark the Quasars (1-1, 1-0) at the line.

Katey Granstra (10 kills, two solo blocks), Place (nine kills, two solo blocks), Devyn Stenzel (six kills, team-high three solo blocks) and Alyssa Hendrickson (two solo blocks) paced SSC at the net.

"I was really happy with Devyn Stenzel tonight," praised SSC head coach Cindy Owen. "She played our right side and did a nice job at the net."

Schmitz (13) and Henkels (seven) combined for 20 set assists, while Maddie Rasche came up with four digs.

Santana Wysong was 10-of-10 serving for the Patriots (1-2, 0-1), including a string of five straight points.

Jayme Plimpton had seven kills for H-BC, while Courtney Hoogendoom smacked a trio of kills and Taylor Vaughn contributed 11 set assists.

The Patriots play in the Central Lyon Tournament Saturday, while the Quasars will see action action today in the Marshall Tournament, tangling with the host Tigers at 5 p.m.

W-WG 3, ML/B-O 1

WESTBROOK -- Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin won the first set, but Westbrook-Walnut Grove came back to win three straight games and earn a 3-1 Red Rock Conference volleyball victory.

Game scores were 25-27, 25-17, 25-12 and 25-21.

Leading the Chargers (4-0, 1-0) at the service line were Amber West (17-of-19, six aces) and Chanel Madson (17-of-18, four aces).

At the net, Taylor Elzenga slammed seven kills, while the trio of Karley Deprez, Dayna Comnick and Maddie Frank each had four kills.

Getting the ball to the W-WG attackers was setter Anne Woelber, who had 19 assists.

Madson and West paced the Charger back row defense with 13 and 11 digs, respectively, while Frank (two ace blocks) and Deprez (one ace block) scored a trio of points for the Chargers defending the net.

Kaitlin Feil had 14 set assists for the Wolverines (0-3, 0-1) and Lounee Soutthivong was credited with 20 serve receptions and 11 digs.

Laura Romsdahl hammered six kills for ML/B-O, while Jennie Romsdahl (five kills, 10 touch blocks) and Haley Hamilton (10 touch blocks) also played well at the net for the Wolverines.

ML/B-O will participate in the Sleepy Eye Tournament Saturday and W-WG is hosting its own tournament the same day.

Fulda 3, Ellsworth 2

FULDA -- Fulda lost the first two games in a Red Rock Conference match by identical 25-20 scores.

But then, the Raiders came alive.

Fulda won Game 3 25-16 before edging Ellsworth 25-23 to force a decisive Game 5.

The Raiders came away with a 15-13 victory, sealing a 3-2 win.

Kassie Wilkening had 12 kills and was 14-for-14 serving with one ace to lead Fulda. She also had five digs.

Courtney Hulstein had 21 set assists and was 12-for-13 serving with an ace for Fulda (1-1, 1-0). Jessica Hermeling had seven kills, while Mara Schroer was 10-for-12 serving with two aces.

Becca Sieff had a team-high 13 kills, three ace blocks and 19 digs to lead Ellsworth (2-1, 0-1). Emily Timmer had eight kills and 25 digs to go along with a 22-for-23 night serving. She had two aces and scored 15 points.

Bridget Kramer was 17-for-18 serving with one ace and nine points scored, while Andrea DeBoer had 24 set assists. Alis Golombeski had two ace blocks for Ellsworth, which will travel to the Central Lyon tournament on Saturday.

Fulda will be at the Westbrook-Walnut Grove tourney the same day.

Windom 3, Luverne 0

LUVERNE -- Abby Hayenga had 12 set assists and four kills, leading Windom to a sweep of Luverne in a Southwest Conference match.

Game scores were 25-14, 25-16 and 25-20.

Courtney Ysker had 11 kills, nine digs and was 15-for-16 serving with seven aces for the Eagles, while Hali Tasler was 15-for-16 with four aces and seven digs.

Cheyenne Hemme was 8-for-10 serving, had four kills and five set assists to lead the Cardinals (0-4, 0-1).

Ashley Olson had seven set assists to lead Luverne, while Katlyn Sawtelle had six kills, three digs and two blocks in the match.

Chelsea Curtis had four digs and was 6-for-8 serving, while Amanda Oeltjenbruns was 5-for-6 serving with an ace.

Luverne will host Round Lake-Brewster on Monday.

JCC 3, Marshall 2

MARSHALL -- With the second rank in the state on the line, Jackson County Central fell down early 2-1 agianst Marshall on Thursday, but in the end rallied for a 3-2 victory.

The game scores were 22-25, 25-14, 20-25, 25-19 and 15-12.

The two teams had shared the second place ranking before the match.

JCC relied on a storng service game to pull out the close victory.

"We served very well tonight as a team," head coach Teresa Van Epps said. "We only had five missed serves combined out of all six players."

Kaylee Benson led JCC with a 21-of-21 service game. Whitney Burmeister also had a perfect service game at 17-of-17.

Courtney Donnelli and Michelle Van Epps rounded out a solid top four with 26-of-28 and 22-of-24 service games respectively.

A slew of ace blocks added the other key side of the equation in the win. Jasmine Erickson and Benson each had 10 ace blocks, and Sarah Darling added eight.

Benson and Burmeister led the Huskies with 17 kills apiece, and Michelle Van Epps led with 28 set assists, followed by Lexi Schneekloth with 25.

Teresa Van Epps praised her players for not getting frustrated with the early deficit and plugging away to turn the tide.

"Our girls sidn't get frustrated, we kept plugging away at them," Van Epps said. "We kept the pressure on when we were ahead."

In the two sets that JCC lost the team went down early but hung in until the end. For example, in the first set JCC was down 0-4 before closing the gap to 22-25 at the end.

The Huskies will play their first game with sole possession of the number two ranking when they travel to Shakopee on Saturday.