Volleyball: Windom Area attacks Worthington from every angle

ZACH WORTHINGTON -- Windom Area might attack you from the front. Then again, it might come at you from the side, from the other players you almost forgot were there. Senior setter Lauren Huset has a habit of moving the ba...

JESSIE TRELSTAD/DAILY GLOBE Windom Area’s Porsha Porath and teammates celebrate winning the first set against Worthington Thursday.


WORTHINGTON - Windom Area might attack you from the front. Then again, it might come at you from the side, from the other players you almost forgot were there.
Senior setter Lauren Huset has a habit of moving the ball around; making sure the attacks come from all directions. Thursday, Worthington learned that the hard way when the Eagles beat it in three sets, 25-20, 25-14, 25-17.
“She’s incredible,” said Windom Area sophomore middle hitter Porsha Porath of her setter. “She makes things so much easier for you as a hitter. I just put all of my trust in her because I know she’s going to put it somewhere where I can get good hits.”
Porath tallied a game-high 13 kills, helped along by Huset’s 27 set assists. Morgan Hockel added nine. Katie Kelly finished with eight while Madison Maras had five.
“She moves the ball around so well,” Eagles head coach Ron Wendorff said of Huset. “Sometimes you get in a certain situation that works for you. She found the things that were working for us and makes great decisions with where to go with the ball.”
Worthington led early in the first, but never went up by more than two. That happened on two occasions with kills by Emma Gerber and Allie Bruns.
A big solo block by Porath tied it at 8-8 and seemed to give Windom Area some momentum. It took the lead for good with a Porath slam that made it 12-11 in its favor.
“We needed someone to step up and get a sideout,” Porath said of her game-changing block. “It’s always exciting to get a big block. It gets the team going and it gets the crowd going.”
Long serving rallies by Kelly and Porath helped extend the lead to 19-12 before the Trojans got back to within four.
Worthington wouldn’t go away. With Emily Shaffer at the service line, it got back to within three at 23-20. But a Trojan miscue and an ace serve by Madison Maras ended it with the Eagles on top 25-20.
“In the first set I thought we really battled well,” Worthington coach Jessica Hogan said. “We were fundamentally sound and consistent. We just hit a little lull midway through that cost us.”
Gerber and Maddi Woll teamed up for a beautiful ace block early on in the second set, but for the most part Windom Area was in control. Huset served up six straight points to put her team up 8-2 before Woll temporarily stopped the bleeding with a tip kill.
The visitors quickly responded. Porath served her team on a 10-0 run to 18-4 that included a thundering kill by Becca Hacker. That surge finally ended when Emma Thuringer slammed a perfectly-placed spike in the back of Windom’s side.
A couple big swings by Gerber helped Worthington close the deficit to 10, but a Hockel kill ended it at 25-14 and put the Eagles on top 2-0.
“I thought we really played well,” Wendorff said. “We came out and gave a tremendous effort. The slow start had a lot more to do with how Worthington was playing than anything we were doing. They were really making us work.”
Woll got the Trojans off to a nice start in the third with a highlight-reel dig of a Porath spike and a kill of her own on the next point. Abbi Mulder put them up 6-4 with a nice cross-court kill, but Windom Area never let the deficit get out of hand. A long, exciting volley ended with a tandem block by Maras and Natalie Resch and suddenly, the Eagles were up by two.
Worthington kept it tight, getting an ace from Olivia Petersen to knot it at 14-all. The two teams traded points until a Maras smash got Windom Area up 17-15. That gave the Eagles the boost they needed to close it out with a 25-17 win, aided in large part by a dominant finish by Kelly from the right side.
“We have to keep focused and limit our errors,” Hogan said. “Good teams like Windom don’t beat themselves.”
Along with her 13 kills, Porath was 17-for-17 serving with five aces. Huset was also perfect from the service line. Sydnee Broberg and Maras led the defense with 17 and 12 digs, respectively.
Gerber finished with seven kills and three blocks for the Trojans. Anneke Weg had 12 set assists while Woll and Shaffer totaled 10 and six digs. Shaffer was 12-for-13 serving with seven points and an ace while Gerber went 10-for-10 with five points and two aces.
“It’s early in the season so we still have so many things to work on,” Wendorff said. “But the kids were really focused in practice and that showed tonight. A lot of times that’s how it goes; you have a great practice and it carries over.”


JESSE TRELSTAD/DAILY GLOBE Worthington's Maddi Woll (7) lines herself up to set the ball up for teammate Anneke Weg at Thursday nights game against Windom.

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