By AARON HAGEN
WORTHINGTON -- There were some great moments for Worthington against New Ulm in Monday’s high school volleyball match.
But in the end, too many unforced errors doomed the Trojans as the visiting Eagles earned a sweep.
“We had great starts, great moments, we had some great plays,” WHS head coach Jessica Hogan said. “Then just too many times where we would shoot ourselves in the foot. That’s something we’ve really been focusing on. It’s getting better, but it has a long way to go to be able to compete with the teams on our schedule that don’t beat themselves.”
New Ulm won by scores of 25-19, 25-18 and 25-20.
“Too up and down,” Hogan said. “I thought New Ulm played more consistent. I thought they had better ball control on their side of the net. We made some bad errors at bad times.”
Serving was an issue during the match as WHS had eight missed serves.
“It really wasn’t a weapon for us tonight,” Hogan said. “I know as a team and individually, we can serve better than that. We’ll continue to work on it.”
The two teams were close early in the first game, with New Ulm holding a 9-8 lead. The Eagles rattled off the next six points, and led by as many as seven late. However, the Trojans battled to the end, but fell just short.
“Especially toward the end of Game 1, I thought we were pretty aggressive and we got some really good swings and ended that set pretty well, even though we were on the losing end of it,” Hogan said. “New Ulm controlled the ball more and they were able to run their offense more than us. We were more in scramble mode at times.”
That solid play carried over to the second set as WHS led 5-1. But the Eagles slowly erased the lead. Late in the game, NU had a 19-18 advantage, but scored the next six points to take the win.
The third game was another solid start for the Trojans as they led 4-1. Again, New Ulm slowly chipped away. With the score tied at 11, the Eagles went on a quick 4-0 run and continued to maintain that advantage to earn the sweep.
“We had a lot of unforced errors,” Hogan said. “Give New Ulm credit, they capitalized on them. You have to earn your own points to score, you have to earn your own points to side out and you can’t rely on the other team to make mistakes.”
Sophie Wietzema had five kills to lead the Trojans, while Madisyn Huisman and Anna Meyer each had four. Stephie Bauman had 10 set assists and was 12-for-12 serving with seven points and three aces. Payton Sauerbrei had seven digs.