PREP VOLLEYBALL: Eagles ground Falcons

WINDOM -- Displaying remarkable hitting efficiency and mixing up a variety of well-placed serves Tuesday evening, the perennial powerhouse Windom Eagles soared to a 3-0 sweep over the Red Rock Central Falcons in an early-season, non-conference hi...

RRC's Hagert
Brian Korthals/Daily Globe Red Rock Central's Kendra Hagert (9) tips the ball over Eagle defenders Holly Larson (10) and Courtney Ysker (2) during Tuesday night's match in Windom.

WINDOM -- Displaying remarkable hitting efficiency and mixing up a variety of well-placed serves Tuesday evening, the perennial powerhouse Windom Eagles soared to a 3-0 sweep over the Red Rock Central Falcons in an early-season, non-conference high school volleyball match.

Game scores were 25-11, 25-18 and 25-14.

"I was pleased with how we came out of the gate," veteran WHS head coach Ron Wendorff said after the quickly-played match. "We talked about playing with pride in front of our home crown and the girls really set the tempo early and played well against a very scrappy team."

RRC, which had won both of its earlier matches (over Wabasso and Springfield) by identical 3-1 scores, was unable to keep pace with the Eagles in Game 1 -- but the Falcons battled evenly through most of Game 2 and then claimed a 9-4 lead in Game 3.

Windom, however, which utilized an assortment of hitters -- who pounded the ball with an over 90 percent (57-of-63) efficiency mark -- pulled away from a 17-all deadlock in the second set and then rallied with an impressive 15-2 run to take control in the third set.


"We were really efficient at the net," praised Wendorff. "When you put 63 swings on the ball and have only six errors, that's a heck of a percentage. Our girls made good choices and delivered good swings."

While All-State outside hitter Courtney Ysker -- a 5-9 senior -- led the Eagles with 15 total kills, 5-6 junior outside hitter Amber Eigenberg and 5-8 junior setter Abby Hayenga combined for 11 kills to help Windom control the net.

Eigenberg (seven kills), who leaps well and hits the ball hard, was especially strong during Windom's come-from-behind rally in Game 3.

"Amber had a big match for us," declared Wendorff. "She had several key spikes which sparked us during our third game rally."

Eagles pull away to big win in Game 1

Windom scored the match's first three points -- highlighted by a right-side kill by 5-7 sophomore Shelby Mattson -- and then later claimed a 7-2 lead on another kill by Mattson with 5-7 senior setter Kaitlin Markl at the service line.

An ace serve by senior libero Amber Sebring made the score 14-4 and a kill by Eigenberg put the Eagles up 15-6.

A kill by Ysker and a strong solo block by 5-11 sophomore middle hitter Holly Larson lifted Windom to a 10-point advantage, 19-9.


Another block by Larson, a pair of kills by Hayenga and an ace serve by Ysker (12-of-13, two aces) finished off the Falcons in the first game.

"This was disappointing," said RRC head coach Sara Arfsten. "This was not our best performance."

Fredrickson's spikes spark RRC in Game 2

Arfsten had reasons to cheer in Game 2, as her team played much better and earned several leads.

Sparking the Falcons was the left-side hitting prowess of 5-11 senior outside hitter Alyssa Fredrickson, who hammered numerous kills through the Eagle blocks.

"Alyssa was really our dominant hitter tonight," praised Arfsten. "She was swinging hard and found some holes."

With Fredrickson spiking four kills during the early part of Game 2, the Falcons opened up an 11-9 lead.

Sophomore Chloe Arfsten (a 5-7 outside hitter) also had a big kill for the Falcons during that surge.


An ace block by Larson (three solos) stopped Fredrickson's hot streak, however, and the Eagles were within one at 11-10.

"Holly had some huge blocks for us," praised Wendorff. "That was a big one there because Fredrickson was really finding the groove for the Falcons and giving us trouble."

A bit later, RRC earned a point after a long rally and took a three-point lead, 13-10, forcing a timeout by Wendorff.

The Eagles responded and tied the score at 14, but a kill by RRC junior middle hitter Klarissa Larsen gave the Falcons a one-point edge.

A kill by Ysker knotted the score again and then the Eagles capitalized on a pair of RRC errors and owned a 17-15 advantage.

The Falcons came back again as Chloe Arfsten delivered another kill and the Falcons made another hustle play to tie the score at 17-all.

"We are capable of doing that," Coach Arfsten said. "We won a couple of long rallies and played aggressive. But then, we took the pedal off the accelerator -- we only played two-thirds of the game and that's not enough."

The Eagles, aided by several Falcon miscues, finished Game 2 on an 8-1 run and took a two-game edge in the match.


Falcons earn 9-4 lead in Game 3, but Eagles rally

An ace serve by Fredrickson, a well-placed cross-court spike by Chloe Arfsten, another kill by Arfsten and a great dig by freshman Brooke Rasmussen sparked the Falcons to an early 9-4 lead in Game 3.

But after a timeout by Wendorff, the Eagles came flying back and assumed control at the net again.

"I think we caught them in a rotation with both Larsen and Fredrickson in the back line," Wendorff said about Windom's surge. "Abby did a great job serving during that stretch, moving the ball around to different spots and Amber cracked a couple of kills that were really big plays for us."

Eigenberg's spiking and a nifty tip by Markl helped the Eagles string together a 15-2 run and a take a 19-11 lead.

Hayenga, who finished with a team-high 15 set assists and had four kills, was a perfect 19-of-19 at the service line, including an ace during that run.

Larson found the court with a thundering spike on a free ball at the net during that surge for another Eagle highlight.

A spike through a block attempt by RRC junior middle hitter Kendra Hagert finally stopped Windom's burst, but the momentum had turned and the Eagles finished the game and match on a 6-2 run to complete the sweep.


Ace serves by senior defensive specialist Sarah Lamaack and junior setter Kayla Patterson highlighted Windom's closing run.

Markl finished with 10 set assists and was a perfect 16-of-16 serving with an ace for the Eagles, while 5-7 sophomore outside hitter Hali Tasler led Windom with seven digs.

RRC senior setter Cierra Nickel was eight-for-eight serving, had nine digs and a match-high 19 set assists.

Rasmussen hustled for eight digs and the trio of Larsen (seven), Fredrickson (six) and Arfsten (six) combined for 19 RRC kills.

The Falcons (2-1) host Southwest Christian in their Red Rock Conference opener Thursday, while the Eagles (2-1) travel to Luverne to begin their Southwest Conference schedule.

Windom's Eigenberg
Brian Korthals/Daily Globe Eagle Amber Eigenberg (3) hits the ball past Falcon defender Alison Kircher (1) during Tuesday night action in Windom.

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