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Prep volleyball: Marshall too tough for Worthington

Worthington Trojan Taylor Hastings (5) dives in to return a serve from the Marshall Tigers Thursday. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)1 / 3
Trojan Nyamer Diew delivers a spike between the open arms of Marshall's Kaylee Gossen and Paige Andries (6). (Tim Middagh/The Globe) 2 / 3
Worthington volleyball player Emma Thuringer (8) leaps to deliver a spike in a match with the Marshall Tigers. (Tim Middagh/The Globe) 3 / 3

BY AARON HAGEN

The Globe

WORTHINGTON -- Cassidy Bruns said her team plays for each other.

So when one player is hustling, the rest follow suit.

That was on display in Thursday’s volleyball match as Bruns and the Worthington volleyball team was all over the court from the first point to the last against Marshall. The Trojans were diving on the floor constantly, and even saved a ball that appeared destined to land two rows behind the Worthington bench late in the match.

“We always like to play together,” Bruns said. “We all come together and we play for each other. When one person is running after and diving for it, we all try to do the same for each other.”

The Tigers got the best of the Trojans in the Big South Conference match in three games, 25-13, 25-11 and 25-11.

“They are always really good,” Bruns said. “We came in and tried our best. I thought we did pretty good.”

For Bruns and the other Trojan seniors, Thursday was the final regular-season home match.

“It’s fun, but scary at the same time because you’re a senior,” she said. “It was fun. It was a good game.”

WHS has five seniors on the roster this year: Bruns, Taylor Hastings, Emma Thuringer, Natalie Demuth and Anneke Weg.

“They are a big part of our team,” WHS head coach Jessica Hogan said. “They all bring very special things individually and they are just a really fun group to be around. They are great, high quality, class act kids.”

Worthington took the early lead in the first set as a block by Thuringer propelled the Trojans to a 4-3 lead. WHS hung with the Tigers and trailed 6-5 following a Marshall serving error.

“We did some good things, I thought. We got off to a little bit of a slow start, but then I think our kids rallied a little bit and put things together,” Marshall head coach Dan Westby said. “We’re fortunate to come out with a win. Worthington, I thought they did a nice job at the net blocking. There was a number of times they put the ball back in our court. Kudos to them for that.”

However, the Tigers went on an 11-1 run  that sent them to a Game 1 victory.

“Give Marshall credit, they always play extremely well disciplined and they definitely take care of their side of the net really well,” Hogan said. “We were hoping to do some of the same things tonight. We had moments of it, but not just enough of them.”

The second game started much the same way as the Trojans led 6-5 early. But Marshall scored the game’s next 10 points en route to a 2-0 lead.

“We weren’t moving early enough, we weren’t doing what we needed to do before the ball got to us,” Hogan said. “We weren’t in good position to pass it at times. I’m proud of our effort and the girls played hard. It was a good night to honor our five seniors. We played pretty well together as a team. Marshall just played better.”

The Tigers came out on fire in the third set as they had a 6-0 lead. That lead built to 11 points midway through the game as kills by Jordyn Hilgemann, Erica Jones, Paige Andries and Shelby Versaevel sent Marshall to the sweep.

“Our kids have been really balanced hitting,” Westby said. “I think that came through again tonight. If you look at our stats, we didn’t have anybody in double figures in kills, but we had a number of kids with seven and eight in that range.”

Worthington has one more regular season match before section tournament begins.

“We’ll just keep practicing and focus on our weaknesses and hopefully we’ll keep getting better,” Bruns said. “(We’ll work on) playing together and trying to play more fast paced.”

Bruns was a perfect 6-for-6 serving, while Payton Sauerbrei was 8-for-9 serving with four points. She also added five digs. Nyamer Diew had five kills, while Thuringer added four kills and four blocks.

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