Experienced Eagles sweep MCC

MARSHALL -- Trailing by five points early in the second game Thursday night, Windom volleyball coach Ron Wendorff called a timeout. With his team reeling from an 8-3 Murray County Central run, Wendorff ended the brief meeting with a simple statem...

Matt Huss/Daily Globe Windom's Trista Hacker (8) attempts to hit past the blocks of Murray County Central's Emily Bose (13) and Stephanie Ahlschlager (12) during a Section 3A playoff match Thursday in Marshall.

MARSHALL -- Trailing by five points early in the second game Thursday night, Windom volleyball coach Ron Wendorff called a timeout.

With his team reeling from an 8-3 Murray County Central run, Wendorff ended the brief meeting with a simple statement:

"Remember, we are the Eagles."

Returning to the kind of volleyball that led the perennial powers to a runner-up finish in the Class A state tournament last season and earned them the top seed in the Section 3A tournament this season after compiling a 29-3 record, the Eagles went on an 11-1 run out of the timeout en route to winning the game and the match.

Windom ended third-seeded MCC's dark-horse candidacy with a 25-18, 25-21, 25-13 sweep in the Section 3A South championship.


The Eagles will face Minneota, the top seed in the North, at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Southwest Minnesota State University, in Marshall.

"Sometimes you just start over-thinking things, and we just needed to play our volleyball," Wendorff said, referring to his speech during the timeout. "Sometimes we might worry too much about what the other team is going to do. We just need to go out and play the way we're capable of playing, and I just needed to remind them of that."

Added Windom senior Megan Ysker: "We take pride in our program and to be able to take over a match."

MCC's Alyssa Schmidt scored the first point after the timeout on an ace tip, capping a 9-3 Rebels run, but Windom took control soon thereafter.

With MCC's Emily Bose on the bench and Kate Robinson in the back row, the Eagles went on an 11-0 run, capped by a vicious kill by Courtney Ysker that nearly knocked Robinson onto her backside, to take a 19-14 lead.

"We knew we probably had our best percentage server on the service line, and they had Bose and Robinson, who we felt were their two best attackers, out of the front row," Wendorff said. "We felt the only way they could get a side-out was if we gave it to them.

"We played very smart volleyball at that time, picked and chose our spots, and went from being behind to having a nice, comfortable lead."

The Rebels responded with a 4-0 run to pull to within a point, but Windom went on a 6-3 run to end the game.


The first and third games weren't nearly as close.

The Eagles opened the match with a 4-0 run. Later, after the Rebels closed to within 6-5, Windom responded with a 7-0 run, during which Ysker had four consecutive ace serves, to take a 13-5 lead.

"She did the same thing against Southwest Star (Concept); it was a 20-20 game, and she nailed four or five in a row, and we ended up winning the third game with her serving," Wendorff said. "Tonight, it was the same thing. It just breaks the ice for our kids a little bit, and it's just a nice feeling to know that when we get her back at the service line that she always has the capability of doing that."

The Eagles never led by fewer than three points afterward and cruised to a 25-18 win.

Windom went on a 14-6 run, capped by vicious back-to-back kills by Courtney Ysker and MaKenzie Lovell, to open the third game.

A kill by Bose ended a long rally and pulled the Rebels to within five points. But Windom again responded, going on an 8-1 run and winning both the game and the match after a free-ball kill by Courtney Ysker to advance to the section championship game for the second consecutive year.

"I've been doing this long enough to know that this is a special night," said Wendorff, who received his 2007 Class A Coach of the Year plaque after the match. "To work hard for a goal and then to achieve it is just a special feeling for them and for me.

"We'll enjoy it tonight, but, tomorrow, we go back to work. That's our philosophy."


Megan Ysker went 10-for-12 serving with five aces and finished with 11 assists, six digs, four solo blocks, 10 block assists and four kills.

Morgan Borsgard went 25-for-25 serving with five aces and finished with 19 set assists and eight digs, while Courtney Ysker had eight kills and two solo blocks.

Allison Nau had a team-high 16 digs, and Lisa Johnson added seven. Lovell had six kills, and Abby Lund and Trista Hacker each added four.

Bose went 10-for-11 serving and added eight digs, seven kills, three ace blocks and two ace tips, and Robinson had five kills.

Alyssa Schmidt had 18 set assists and 14 digs, and Samantha Kuechenmeister added three ace blocks for MCC (23-8), which lacked the kind of big-game experience that Windom has acquired over the years.

"Anybody that's gone to state has already gone through the jitters and that kind of thing," MCC coach Donna Johansen said. "I just found out (Thursday) that our school hasn't been to this final since 1983. So we're not used to it, and that may be part of it, not all of it, but part of it."

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