WORTHINGTON -- Playing before an energized crowd of students and parents, with their excellent band behind them and an incredible choir that offered a splendid a capella version of the National Anthem, the Worthington High volleyball team was poised Tuesday night to cap a banner night with a victory over the high-flying Jackson County Central squad.
But the Huskies had other ideas.
Superb senior hitter Sadie Voss had 14 kills to lead JCC to a 3-0 victory over WHS at Trojan Fieldhouse. Voss and teammates Emma Haren, Peyton Hanson, Taylor Post and Georgianna Wenzel sparkled at the net, and talented Maci Farmer set the ball efficiently from start to finish as the Huskies won by scores of 25-6, 25-18, 25-19.
The first set was extremely one-sided.
“We had like no errors and played really solid,” said Voss. “Everybody did their part. We all contributed. It was a great first set.”
Jackson County Central, ranked second among Class AA teams by the Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association, improved to 20-3 overall and 5-1 in the Big South Conference.
“I’m definitely proud of the way we came with energy and the way we were able to execute our offense,” said JCC coach Deidre Wierson.
Worthington (14-13, 1-5) played much better the last two sets, as junior hitter Tarren Spartz had seven kills and sophomore Madison Beckmann contributed three kills and two blocks. Ellie Weg also had three kills and two aces, while standout sophomore setter Addison Gerber had 14 assists.
“The key word tonight was ‘moments’ for us,” said Worthington coach Jessica Hogan. “We had some flashes, and some good moments, but we just weren’t able to string anything together long enough to make a run at them. But credit goes to Jackson for shutting us down.”
The first set was over quickly as JCC stormed to a 15-3 lead and never retreated. The Trojans led 12-9 in the second set before Voss and Co. took control with an 11-1 run. In the third set, Worthington led 10-9 before kills by Voss, Taylor Post, Haren and Wenzel enabled the Huskies to stretch the lead to 20-14.
It was too much for the Trojans, who entered the game having won four straight and five of their last six.
“We played them earlier in the season and they took a set from us,” Voss said of the Trojans. “They’re a really solid team. They block very well and play scrappy defense.”
Said Wierson: “They’ve got some athletic girls and nice players. I really wish them well.”
Farmer was especially impressive. She finished with 33 set assists and six digs. Plus, she was 9-for-10 serving.
“She’s awesome,” Voss said with a smile. “She’s always running around and never lets a ball drop. She hits the ground so hard.”
That can also be said of the way the 5-foot-9 Voss hits the volleyball. The JCC all-around sports star has accepted a volleyball scholarship from the University of Sioux Falls.
And she isn’t the Huskies’ only star. Farmer is exceptional, and her hitters are consistent. Haren finished with seven kills, while Post and Hanson had six apiece. The JCC servers, led by the southpaw Wenzel’s 17-for-17 effort, rarely made an error.
How far can the Huskies go?
“I think pretty far,” said Voss. “We have a really good chance to go to state and I’m really excited for the rest of the season.”
The Trojans close out the regular season on the road, starting Thursday night at Southwest Christian in Edgerton. Jackson County Central plays Monday night in Fairmont.