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Prep volleyball: JCC, SWU win exciting 5-set matches


WINDOM —Five tough volleyball sets were played in Windom Thursday night between two longtime Southwest Conference rivals.

In the end, Jackson County Central ended up on top, 3-2.

Scores were 25-19, 25-14, 21-25, 24-26 and 15-10.

After winning the first two sets handily, the Huskies found themselves clawing for every point, as the Eagles came back to take both game three and four.

“After the second set, it wasn’t looking too good,” Windom Area head coach Ron Wendorff said. “I challenged them a little bit, and I’m very proud of them, they made a match of it.”

After that, however, the Huskies took game five to seal the victory.

“The sixth one kind of got away from us early; they jumped out to a four or five point lead right away. Jackson is a great team, they figured out a way to win that fifth one,” Wendorff said.

For JCC, Rachel Johnson was 15-16 serving with three aces. Johnson also had four blocks, eight digs and two kills. To top it all off, she finished with 59 set assists. Abby Benson was 14-17 serving. Benson had five blocks, six digs and 11 kills. Sydney Eddy had four blocks and nine kills for the Huskies, and Katherine Nasby had 37 digs, and was 21-21 serving.

On Windom’s side of the net, Kelsey Hanefeld had 12 kills and 9 digs. Rachel Sorenson had two aces and was 14-14 serving, and had seven kills. Eagle middle hitter Michaela Hacker had six kills, two solo blocks and three block assists. Setter Miki Bolin was 20-22 serving, with two aces, 28 set assists and 11 digs. Jasmine Carlson had 24 digs, and Porsha Porath had 9 kills.

“It was very good volleyball. There were some incredible rallies, both teams were diving and flying all over the floor and putting good swings on the ball, and then you have the other team digging them out. It was just a lot of great volleyball, it’s just disappointing that we didn’t come out on top,” said Wendorff.

“Our kids have got to take solace that we played a very fine team, and took them five sets right down to the wire. If we keep playing like we did those last three sets, we’re going the direction we want to go.”

JCC is now 14-4 overall, and 3-1 in the conference. Windom Area is 10-8 overall, and 3-2 in the conference.

SWU 3, MCC 2

OKABENA —A match like this, matching the only two remaining undefeated teams in the Red Rock Conference, should go five games and right down to the wire.

That’s the way it was in Okabena Thursday as Southwestern United and Murray County Central met in a nail-biter. SWU emerged victorious, winning the first two games, losing the next two, and winning the fifth — barely. Scores were 25-17, 25-23, 18-25, 22-25 and 15-13.

“The whole gym was just wild. Probably our biggest attendance of the season,” said SWH head coach Christine Malm.

The Wildcats moved to 15-4-1 overall and 7-0 in conference action with the slim victory. They handed MCC its first loss in the conference by securing the 15th point in the final game — ironically — on a missed MCC serve. Malm said there were a lot of missed serves on a night where both teams generally played at a high level.

“Everybody played pretty well,” she said of her own team. “We played pretty scrappy. The girls decided to be really up and excited.”

Malm specifically praised the performance of her junior middle hitter Rachel Mathias, who had 11 kills in the match along with 22-for-24 serving. Mathias’ teammate Courtney Place had 35 kills while putting 20 of 21 serves in play.

Place also had 17 digs, three solo blocks and seven block assists.

The Wildcats’ Hailey Schumacher was credited with 48 set assists. Autumn Hinkeldey had 14 digs and Andrea Hinkeldey five block assists.

Murray County Central’s excellent hitter, Kristi Bose, had 12 kills and 27 digs in the match. Teammate Lindsey Barritt added seven kills while McKenzie Schmitz had six and Jade Giese five.

Giese had 19 set assists and Paris Thomas added 18.

The Rebels are 9-2 overall.

“I definitely think winning tonight really boosts my team’s confidence,” Malm said. “I was hoping for it to be not as close.”

PA 3, Luverne 1

PIPESTONE — Taylor Kruisselbrink had 22 kills to lead Pipestone Area to a Southwest Conference victory.

Game scores were 26-28, 25-19, 25-19 and 25-17.

Kelly Nettik had 49 set assists for the Arrows, who improve to 3-1 in the conference. Brittany Evans added 11 digs for PA.

Meg Remund had 11 kills for PA, which travels to Fulda on Tuesday.

Paige Baker led had 12 kills to lead Luverne, which falls to 1-4 in the conference. Amanda Barnhart had eight blocks and two ace serves for LHS.

Lexi Rust had a team-best 18 digs and Ashlinn Curtis had 21 set assists for the Cardinals, who travel to Edgerton on Monday.

H-BC 3, Fulda 0

FULDA — Madison Fick was 16-for-19 serving with six aces, had seven digs and added four kills as Hills-Beaver Creek swept Fulda in a Red Rock Conference match.

Game scores were 25-6, 25-23 and 25-21.

Jessica Sandbulte was 12-for-12 serving and had a team-best 12 digs for the Patriots, who improve to 4-8 overall and 2-5 in the conference.

Hattie Van Wyhe had five kills, while Kelli Esselink had five kills and three blocks for H-BC.

Megan Westrum led the Patriots with 15 set assists and added six digs. Tori Bork had a pair of blocks and six digs for H-BC, which hosts Edgerton on Tuesday.

Fulda’s Alli Vanden Bosch had a team-high four ace serves to go with five kills on the night. Randi Tiesler added three aces, 10 digs and 14 set assists for the Raiders, who are winless on the season.

Myah Holinka led Fulda with six kills and added nine digs, while Dani Hermeling had 10 digs.

W-WG 3, RRC 1

WESTBROOK —Dayna Comnick had a match-high 24 kills as Westbrook-Walnut Grove defeated Red Rock Central in four games.

Game scores were 25-22, 22-25, 25-17 and 25-20.

Comnick was also 15-for-15 serving with four aces for the Chargers. Abby Herding was a perfect 33-for-33 serving with three aces to go with 18 digs and 36 set assists for W-WG, which improves to 11-7 overall and 5-2 in the Red Rock Conference.

Alexa Byers was 10-for-10 serving with two aces, while Cassidy Mischke had nine kills and 18 digs, while Madison Takle had five kills. Liz Woelber had 27 digs to lead the Chargers, who travel to Ellsworth on Tuesday.

For the Falcons, Mikaela Smith was 20-for-22 serving with two aces, while Olivia Bittner was 17-for-17 and Cassandra Erickson was 13-for-14 serving with two aces.

Erickson had a team-high 13 kills, 17 digs and five total blocks, while Bittner added 12. Melanie Kedl had five kills and five blocks. Brooke Rasmussen had 10 digs while Mikaela Smith added 34 set assists for RRC (9-7, 5-2) which hosts Southwestern United Tuesday.

Ellsworth 3, Adrian 1

ADRIAN — Danielle DeBeer filled the stat sheet as the Ellsworth Panthers defeated Adrian in a Red Rock Conference matchup.

De Beer was 12-for-15 serving with five aces to go with eight set assists and four digs as the Panthers won 25-23, 25-20, 19-25 and 25-20.

Heidi Nolte led Ellsworth with 11 set assists, while Hannah Mulder had a team-high 15 kills and a block.

Alexa Huisman had 10 kills, seven digs and two blocks while Brenna Kramer had four digs for Ellsworth, which hosts Southwest Christian on Monday.

Nicole Knips had seven kills and three ace serves for Adrian. Elizabeth Thier had five kills and 33 digs. Bailey Grussing and Shelly Loosbrock had four kills each, while Loosbrock added 30 digs and four ace serves. Sydnie Weiss had 26 set assists.