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Prep volleyball: T-M-B has Windom's number in volleyball win

WINDOM -- Tracy-Milroy-Balaton played quite well for its first match of the season.

Windom Area didn’t play quite as well, and the result was a 3-1 high school volleyball victory for the Panthers Tuesday night -- and more frustration for the Eagles.

“We didn’t come out and play with the intensity we needed to play with,” said veteran Windom Area head coach Ron Wendorff about T-M-B’s 25-12, 25-17, 23-25, 25-18 triumph. “They had our number the last couple of years, and we need to fight our way through that.”

The Panthers, who defeated Windom Area 3-0 in last year’s sub-section finals on the way to placing third in the Class A state tournament, were playing their season-opener against an Eagles team playing its third match of the season. But it was the Panthers looking closer to mid-season form.

Much of that was due to the play of 5-9 senior outside hitter Sydney Lanoue, who accounted for 28 kills, 15 digs, two blocks and two ace serves. The Class A All-State selection from 2016 knew where the open spots were on the court Tuesday, and she usually hit them.

“Not only is she an extremely talented player,” said T-M-B first-year head coach Rick Haberman, “she’s a very intelligent player. Everybody notices her attacking, but she also does many other things for us.”

“She was the difference,” said Wendorff.

Tracy-Milroy-Balaton doubled Windom Area’s score in the first game as Lanoue found her rhythm midway through, and it was Lanoue who hit an ace for the 25th point.

Then to start the second game Lanoue drilled an untouched hit for the first point, and added an ace block for a 3-0 T-M-B lead. As they did in the first game, the Eagles were a little out of sync halfway through the game, keeping them out of range.

In the third game, Windom Area led 4-1 and avoided dry spells. In a game of several long rallies, the Eagles won their share. Their big hitter, 6-1 senior Porsha Porath, scored a key ace hit for a 24-21 WHS lead. T-M-B crept to within 24-23 but put its next serve out of bounds.

Windom Area led in the fourth game 2-0, but T-M-B scored seven of the next eight points to assume control. Windom Area stayed within striking distance for the rest of the way, but a Lanoue ace hit clinched it.

Haberman was pleased to come away with a victory. “We knew Windom was going to make runs. They made a number of good runs in the third set to win it. And they earned it,” he said. “But what I liked was what we did to respond in the fourth set.”

Evelyn Dolan had 10 kills for the Panthers and teammate Cassidy Smith had 36 set assists and four ace serves. Brooklyn Ludeman added three ace serves and Kaylee Kirk had 21 digs.

Porath was 11-for-11 serving with an ace, and she also was credited with 15 kills. Maurissa Isaacs had four solo blocks and Ella Brockman had three. Becca Hacker had five kills to go along with 12 set assists. Isaacs and Emily Steen had eight digs apiece.

Doug Wolter

Doug Wolter is the Daily Globe sports editor. He served as sports reporter, then sports editor, news editor and finally managing editor at the Daily Globe for 22 years before leaving for seven years to work as night news editor at the Mankato Free Press in Mankato. Doug now lives in Worthington with his wife, Sandy. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Doug, retired after a lengthy career in fast-pitch softball, enjoys reading, strumming his acoustic guitar and hanging around his grandchildren. He also writes books on fiction. Two of his stories, "The Genuine One" and "The Old Man in Section 129" have been distributed through a national publisher.

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