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Section 3A volleyball: Windom Area takes out RRC

BY AARON HAGEN The Globe WINDOM -- Porsha Porath said a quick start has been a focus lately for the Windom Area volleyball team. And that was evident in the South Sub-Section 3A tournament Friday night as a quick start led the second-seeded Eagle...

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Windom Eagles volleyball player Maurissa Isaacs fires a shot over Red Rock Central Falcons Kierra Highby (0) and Venessa Kedl (10) Friday night. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

BY AARON HAGEN

The Globe

WINDOM -- Porsha Porath said a quick start has been a focus lately for the Windom Area volleyball team.

And that was evident in the South Sub-Section 3A tournament Friday night as a quick start led the second-seeded Eagles to a sweep over seventh-seeded Red Rock Central.

“We really focused on doing the little things right at the beginning of the game so that doesn’t come back and bite us at the end of the game,” said Porath, who finished with 17 kills for the Eagles. “Normally we make mistakes at the beginning of the game and it catches up to us at the end of the game.”

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Game scores were 25-9, 25-12, 25-20.

“We worked really hard to get here. So it’s nice that all this hard work is finally paying off,” Eagle junior Maurissa Isaacs said. “We had a game plan and we executed it really well. We wanted to serve receive the ball well and have few errors and play smart.”

Windom Area will advance to face third-seeded Murray County Central at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Worthington.

And while the quick start helped give WA control, it was the blocking that kept the RRC hitters off balance.

“(Head coach Ron) Wendorff said we have one of the best blocking teams he’s ever seen,” Isaacs said. “We all work really hard.”

Isaacs had four ace blocks and eight block assists. Katelyn Nichols charted five ace blocks and four assists.Ella Brockman had three ace blocks and three assists. As a team, the Eagles finished 16 ace blocks and 23 assists.

“These kids block well,” Wendorff said. “Like I told them this week, I thought maybe they are the best blocking team I’ve ever coached. They certainly lived up to that again tonight. It’s just nice to know when the other team is swinging hard at you, you have a good chance of putting it right back on the floor at them. It’s kind of deflating sometimes.”

Behind a trio of kills from Porath and solid serving from Shelby Erickson (17-for-17 serving, one ace), the Eagles had a quick start to Game 1, taking a 12-1 lead.  

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“We wanted to get a good start,” Wendorff said. “We kind of wanted to force feed some balls to Porsha if we could and see if they could get a block up on her and they were struggling to get a block up. She was swinging really efficiently. Shelby Erickson kept hammering serves in for us, so that was a great way to get that match started.”

The second game was much of the same as WA led 11-5 behind a kill from Victoria Christoffer.

“I think we came ready to play and we’ve been practicing really hard,” Isaacs said. “We were definitely ready to play.”

RRC scored the next two and was within four, but a kill from Becca Hacker (15 set assists, five kills, 11 digs, 12-for-13 serving, three aces) sparked a 6-0 run that helped send WA to a Game 2 win.

The third game, however, was tight throughout. A pair of aces by RRC’s Haley Simonson tied the game at 9-all.

“All week we practiced really well and played with a lot of intensity,” RRC head coach Sara Arfsten said. “When we started the match, it just wasn’t there. I think the girls were nervous and once they finally got started, it was like, ‘OK, now we’ll have a match.’”

Each time the Eagles would start to pull away, the Falcons responded. An ace by Hannah DeCock and a kill from Vanessa Kedl tied the game at 15-all. However, WA went on a 5-0 lead that proved too much as the Eagles earned the sweep.

“We went back to our old ways a little bit,” Porath said. “It’s just not us focusing. When Game 2 ended, I think we almost thought we had it in the bag, but obviously it takes three to win a game. It was our mistakes that kind of caught up to us, but we figured it out, thankfully.”

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Windom Area's Porsha Porath (5) leaps to block a shot from Red Rock Central's Vanessa Kedl (10) in Section 3A volleyball action. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

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