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Prep volleyball: Trojans step up in 3-0 win over Fairmont

WORTHINGTON -- Getting on top early and staying on top throughout, the Worthington Trojans varsity volleyball team outclassed Fairmont 3-0 at the WHS gymnasium Monday night, demonstrating superiority in every phase of its performance. The Trojans...

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Worthington's Sophie Wietzema (11) was a key offensive weapon in Monday's volleyball match against Fairmont. Teammates Steph Bauman (left) and Brianna Veen (right) watch a spike attempt. (Aaron Hagen/The Globe)

 

WORTHINGTON -- Getting on top early and staying on top throughout, the Worthington Trojans varsity volleyball team outclassed Fairmont 3-0 at the WHS gymnasium Monday night, demonstrating superiority in every phase of its performance.

The Trojans won just their third match of the 2018 season, but it was hard to believe they hadn’t won more contests when witnessing their 25-13, 25-17, 25-12 victory.

Serving, hitting, bumping, court coverage, and strong communication won the day for WHS just four days after showing inconsistency in all those areas during a 3-0 home-court loss to Luverne.

On Monday, however, the Trojans showed just what they were capable of doing. And every player played a part.

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“When we got here, I thought the environment was good,” said junior middle hitter Sophie Wietzema. “When we warmed up, we felt really energetic. We wanted to show everyone that we could win.”

Wietzema’s hitting was a major reason why the Trojans did win. She led her team with 11 kills, and it seemed almost as if she knew exactly where to hit the ball -- and whether to apply hard or soft pressure -- in hitting it.

Worthington’s strong and consistent serving also played a big role. Brianna Veen was 16-for-17 at the service line with 13 points and five aces. Teammate Stephie Bauman was 13-for-14 with nine points and two aces. And Kara Thuringer was 11-for-12 with eight points and three aces.

“We kept our energy through the whole game, and worked as a team. It was our time to show,” said Veen, whose low, hard, downward-dipping serves troubled the Cardinals all night long.

Anna Meyer and Maya Scheitel-Taylor both had five kills on the night. Payton Sauerbrei had 12 digs and Bauman added 10. Veen was counted for 13 set assists while Bauman had 11.

The Trojans got the first point of the first game on a Scheitel-Taylor ace block. Fairmont took a 9-6 lead, but Veen served nine in a row for a 16-9 Worthington advantage, then broke back on the next Fairmont serve with a soft ace hit. Thuringer went on a serving run to put WHS up 24-12, and Wietzema got the final point on a spike to the back row.

The Trojans finished off game two dramatically. Wietzema made a brilliant ace hit from the middle of the front row untouched to a far FHS corner for point No. 22, then Scheitel-Taylor scored a powerful ace for the 23rd point. Scheitel-Taylor got the 25th point on a monster spike off the face of a Cardinal player on the back row.

Bauman served three points to start the third game. The Trojans, solving odd ball angles with focus and creativity, were never seriously challenged.

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“I thought we were doing a lot of things early. We were talking early, we were moving our feet early, and anticipating a lot more things,” said Trojans head coach Jessica Hogan. “We had good starts, and our serving carried us through some long serving runs, which was nice. And when we lost the serves, we got it back right away.”

The win improved Worthington to 3-18. Fairmont fell to 6-16.

In many of Worthington’s losses before Monday, said Wietzema, “I think it was more lack of communication. And we didn’t have confidence on the court. And tonight we had that confidence. We actually have been doing a lot of bonding as a team. We’ve been at each other’s houses.”

“It feels amazing,” said Veen. “We can’t get down on ourselves. We have to keep cheering each other on.”

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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