MW VOLLEYBALL: West wins 5-set thriller
WORTHINGTON -- Marie Johnson thought her team might be a little tired. After battling through four sets in Friday night's college volleyball match against Riverland, Johnson thought her Minnesota West squad might be out of gas. Turns out, she was...
WORTHINGTON -- Marie Johnson thought her team might be a little tired.
After battling through four sets in Friday night's college volleyball match against Riverland, Johnson thought her Minnesota West squad might be out of gas.
Turns out, she was wrong.
The Lady Jays won 15-11 in Game 5, giving MW its first victory of the season -- and Johnson's first of her career.
"I was just so excited after the fifth game and so were the girls," Johnson said following MW's 21-25, 25-21, 25-13, 18-25, 15-11 victory. "They left the court saying, 'Wow, it feels so good to win, we don't want to feel another way the rest of the season.'"
In Game 1, the Lady Jays jumped out to a quick lead and were cruising.
But the Blue Devils weren't going quietly. Riverland rallied to win the first set, 25-21.
"The first game, we fell back into our old habits," Johnson said. "We kind of started to let ourselves stand there and think the ball was going to come to us. It's kind of like we got comfortable with the lead that we had. It took that game for them to wake up and realize that Riverland wanted it just as bad as we did."
The Lady Jays responded with a 25-21 victory in Game 2 and then cruised to a 25-13 win in the third game.
However, Riverland came back with a 25-18 win in the fourth game to set up a decisive Game 5.
"At that point, I was wondering if we were just tired," Johnson said. "Game 4 was very critical and we got ourselves in a huge hole right in the beginning, I think it was eight 8-1 or 9-1. We just couldn't come back from being down. I was wondering if we were too tired to finish it off. But they came back, they knew they could do it the whole time and it was just exciting to see us win Game 5.
The Lady Jays then took the fifth set -- and the match.
"Our serving was on tonight," Johnson said. "In Game 4 that we lost, we missed a lot of serves. We came back in Game 5 and we didn't miss any that game that I can remember. They were able to start moving their feet again and start talking again. They always started out moving and talking, but they kind of let that slip away and we were able to actually pick that back up throughout the game."
Katherine Kazemba led MW offensively with 15 kills. She was also a perfect 17-for-17 serving and added 15 digs.
Michaela Wolff was 19-for-22 serving with five aces. She also led the Lady Jays with 35 set assists.
Kristina Skorepa had 14 kills and 10 blocks, while Alyson Drooger had 10 kills and 10 blocks.
Kelsey Wolthuizen added 10 blocks for the Lady Jays.
Libero Sarah Suby had a team-best 16 digs.
The Lady Jays will look for two in a row when they host Ridgewater on Wednesday.
"This win couldn't have come at a better time," Johnson said. "The girls were thrilled with the win and I think tasting a win will only make them want it more for the rest of the season."