WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington volleyball team not only swept the New Ulm Eagles Thursday night, but they are now also 3-0 on the season. "The whole team was doing great together," Trojans middle hitter Morgan Johnson said. "We all came together ...

WHS's Henning and Johnson go for a block
Jordan Willi/Daily Globe WHS's Morgan Johnson and Brooke Henning go up for a block in a game versus New Ulm Thursday in Worthington.

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington volleyball team not only swept the New Ulm Eagles Thursday night, but they are now also 3-0 on the season.

"The whole team was doing great together," Trojans middle hitter Morgan Johnson said. "We all came together and played well and we finished it. We all stuck together and play as a team and that's what made us win tonight."

Worthington jumped out to an 8-4 lead after picking up seven of eight points early in Game 1. But the Eagles fought back and tied the game at eight after a four-point run.

The Trojans took advantage of a shot into the net by New Ulm to go on a six-point run and take a 14-8 lead. Johnson picked up three of her four aces during the run.

Worthington increased their lead to eight after New Ulm allowed a volley over the net to hit the floor to make the score 23-15. The Trojans converted on their first match point just four plays later to take the win in Game 1, 25-17.


"We can go to any hitter," WHS coach Melissa Schutz said. "Today we spread the offense around nicely. Everyone was doing their jobs."

The Trojans took a 5-0 lead early in Game 2 and never looked back. The Eagles pulled within one point of tying the game after going on a four-point run, but Worthington stormed right back, picking up five-straight points to take a 10-4 lead.

New Ulm never came withing striking distance again in Game 2, trailing by as many as 10. Worthington closed out the game on a five-point run, winning 25-15 and taking a 2-0 lead in games.

"Our overall ball control let us take control of those first few games," Schutz said. "Everyone was doing their jobs."

Game 3 looked to be all but wrapped up for the Trojans when they took a 20-12 lead on the back of a solid team effort on both sides of the ball.

However, New Ulm did not lie down and admit defeat. The Eagles clawed their way back into the game, scoring 10 of the next 12 points.

"They tried to hit the line a little bit more, so we had to adjust," Schutz said. "We needed to keep hitting in the third game."

But it was not enough, because the Trojans finally stopped the Eagles rally, taking the win on back-to-back points.


"I was just trying to keep the team up and telling them, 'we'll get the next one, we'll get the next one,'" Johnson (six kills) said.

Worthington won the third game 25-21, sweeping New Ulm in straight sets.

"This was our best game of the year so far," Schutz said. "Everything was a little quicker, both offensively and defensively."

Brooke Henning led the Trojans with eight kills, while Anna Koepsell went 12-for-12 serving with one ace and 15 digs. Paige Gravenhof had 14 set assists with Morgan Harberts picking up eight assists of her own.

Worthington also got offense from Tara Svalland (five kills), Allie Bruns (five kills) and Becca Linder (four kills, four blocks) while K.C. Riley (six digs) went 13-for-15 on the serve.

The Trojans play again Tuesday against Southwestern United at 7:15 p.m. in Worthington.

Daily Globe Reporter Jordan Willi

may be reached at 376-7335.


SWC sweeps LHS 3-0

LUVERNE -- Hannah Van Dyke had 16 assists and 11 digs, Morgan Van Hulzen had five kills and three blocks, Shelby Klarenbeek had 12 digs and both Amber Pater and Carissa Tinklenberg each had six kills to lead Southwest Christian past Luverne 25-22, 25-15, 25-13 in SWC's volleyball season opener Thursday.

Luverne (1-2) was led by Paige Baker (13 digs, three kills), Ellen Dahl (nine digs, three kills) and Ashley Olson (eight assists).

Luverne will travel to Adrian Tuesday and SWC will head to Pipestone Tuesday.

JCC 3, SWU 0

OKABENA -- Displaying a balanced offensive attack, Jackson County Central powered its way to a 3-0 sweep over Southwestern United in the season-opening match for both squads.

Game scores were 25-9, 25-13, 25-17.

Leading the arsenal of hitters for the Huskies was junior Kenna Bannister, who smacked a match-high 11 kills, while also serving 9-of-10 with a pair of aces.


Seniors Jasmine Erickson (five digs, four blocks) and Lydia Brandt (two blocks) each had nine kills for JCC.

Setting the ball for the Huskies was senior veteran Michelle Van Epps, who directed the offense with 27 assists. She also had a pair of blocks, four digs and was a perfect nine-of-nine serving with an ace.

JCC libero Kathyrn Nasby, a sophomore, had a stellar night at the service line, finishing 15-of-16, including an ace. She was credited with eight digs, but also picked up lots of balls off the block to help Van Epps put the Huskies back on the attack.

Despite the convincing victory, JCC head coach Teresa Van Epps heaped praise on the Wildcats, stressing their overall aggressiveness, ability to defend the middle of the court and the individual performance of SWU sophomore Courtney Place, who she called a "dynamite player."

Place finished with 15 digs and 10 kills for the Wildcats, while her cousin Sarah Baumgard worked for a match-high 25 digs and was a perfect six-of-six serving.

Mandy Henkels put up 18 set assists for the Wildcats and was six-of-eight at the service line, while Alyssa Hendrickson (four kills) and Rachel Mathias each had four blocks for SWU, which plays at Worthington Tuesday.

The Huskies travel to St. James, for their next match, also on Tuesday evening.

Springfield 3, RRC 1


JEFFERS -- Sparked by 16 digs and 16 kills from Morgan Hanson, the Springfield Tigers improved to 2-0 for the young season by claiming a 3-1 victory over Red Rock Central.

Game scores were 25-12, 18-25, 26-24 and 25-13.

The Falcons, who won Game 2 and took the Tigers to extra points in Game 3, received a total of 38 digs between the duo of Cassandra Erickson and Brooke Rasmussen, while getting a team-leading 10 kills from Katie Larsen, who also had a pair of blocks.

Rasmussen (18 digs) was 20-of-21 serving, including an ace ace, while Mikaela Smith (18 set assists) was 12-of-13 at the line with an ace.

Tegan Derickson had a fine all-around match with eight assists, seven kills and a trio of blocks for the Falcons (0-2), while Fern Engen (four blocks) and Erickson each came through with six kills.

RRC plays at Windom Tuesday.

R-T-R tops MCC 3-1

TYLER -- Russell-Tyler-Ruthton knocked off Murray County Central Thursday in volleyball action 18-25, 25-19, 25-17, 25-21.


Kristi Bose led the way for the Rebels with 23 kills and 24 digs, while Hannah Schmidt added 24 digs, Taylor Schreier added nine kills and 21 digs and Jade Giese chipped in 17 digs and eight assists for MCC (0-2).

MCC will travel to Adrian Thursday.

Windom cruises by Mountain Lake Area

WINDOM -- Hali Tasler (two aces) led the way with 11 kills, while Holly Larson added 16 kills and Shelby Mattson delivered 15 assists to lead Windom over Mountain Lake Area 3-0 in the Eagles first volleyball match of the season Thursday.

Windom won 25-17, 25-20, 25-17 behind 13 digs from Jasmine Carlson, nine assists from Sami Petersen and two aces from Rachel Sorensen as well.

Mountain Lake Area (0-2) was led by Janessa Peters (nine kills, three aces), Rachel Dukes (11 assists), Mikayla Falk (eight digs) and Jordan Syverson (five kills).

Windom will host Red Rock Central Tuesday and Mountain Lake Area will head to Truman Tuesday.

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