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Trojans face tough foes at Marshall tourney
The New Prague Trojan volleyball team faced some tough competition last week, winning three of seven matches. They split a pair of matches during the week, losing to Rosemount and defeating Holy Angels, then went 2-3 in placing 12th of 32 teams at the Southwest Minnesota Challenge in Marshall.
New Prague was scheduled to host Faribault Tuesday, Sept. 10. They will be at Northfield Thursday, Sept. 12, and compete in the Farmington Invitational Saturday, Sept. 14. New Prague hosts Mankato West on Tuesday, Sept. 17, and will be at Farmington Thursday, Sept. 19.
Irish 3, Trojans 2
New Prague and Rosemount had a tight, back-and-fourth match that saw Rosemount prevail in five games, 25-23, 22-25, 25-23, 25-27, 15-10.
”It was a tough loss for the team. They played their hearts out,” Coach Angie Andersen said. “It was still a great showing for the Trojans despite the loss. Offensively and defensively the team had many great plays. “
Marissa Ekness led the team with 30 kills on 69 attempts, with 23 digs, one block solo, three block assists, and 27 of 28 serving with five aces.
“Marissa is just really playing smart and aggressive volleyball with lots of confidence,” Andersen said.
Melanie Clausen moved into the libero spot following an injury to Hannah Erickson, and Andersen said she really stepped up, tallying 21 digs and going 17 of 18 serving with one ace.
Sydney Foss went 20 of 22 serving with an ace, four assists, 12 kills and 23 digs.
Emma Hughes had 48 assists, two aces, four kills, 11 digs and a block assist.
Alex Jendersee had five kills, five digs, went 13 of 13 serving with two aces and had three block assists.
Trojans 3, Stars 0
New Prague won its Missota Conference opener in impressive fashion, sweeping Holy Angels 25-12, 25-11, 25-12.
Ekness had another great showing, going 27 of 28 from the service line with a school record 10 ace serves.
Foss led the team with seven kills, Clausen had 11 digs and Emily Ulschmid added nine digs.
Andersen said sophomore Morgan Spencer saw her first varsity action and was impressive. She had one kill, one dig, and an ace.
“She played well and we expect more from her throughout the season,” she said.
Southwest Minnesota Challenge
New Prague placed 12th out of 32 teams at the Southwest MN Challenge in Marshall September 6 and 7.
“Overall we were happy with our performance,” Andersen said. “But there were a few matches that we let slip by because of unforced errors.” She said the team continues to improve on different parts of the game, which is encouraging.
“This team has tons of potential but still needs to work on everyone showing up at each game and playing together to reach their full potential in these competitive matches.”
Trojans 2, Packers 0
New Prague opened with a 25-13, 25-14 win over West Fargo, ND.
The Trojans as a team served 100 percent, and Hughes had 14 assists while Megan Rynda added six.
Ekness had four ace serves, two block assists, seven kills and a dig, while Foss had six kills, nine digs, an ace serve and a block assist. Spencer had 5 block assists and two kills while Anna Eaton had two kills and two block assists.
Hawks 2, Trojans 0
New Prague lost its second round match to Chaska, the eventual tournament champion, 25-14, 25-13.
“We played inconsistent, not up to our potential,” Andersen said. “Chaska plays great defense and has excellent ball control.”
Hughes had one kill, three digs, eight assists and an ace, while Rynda had five assists and two digs.
Marissa Ekness had five kills, two digs and a block solo while Alex Jendersee had two assists and three kills. Clausen had six digs and Foss had five kills.
Trojans 2, Blaze 1
New Prague defeated a tough Burnsville team in three games, 22-25, 29-27, 15-9
“We stepped up our defense and it showed in their intensity and the outcome of the match,” Andersen said.
The team had another perfect match serving. Hughes had 32 assists, two aces, a block assist, 15 digs and one kill.
Foss had 16 kills, 13 digs, one ace, three assists, and three block assists. Ekness had two aces, 13 kills and 17 digs.
Vikings 2, Trojans 0
Minneota, ranked No. 3 in Class A, defeated New Prague 5-23, 25-18. The Trojans had two kills, four digs and 13 assists from Hughes.
Ekness had five ace serves, one block assist, five kills and four digs, while Foss had eight kills, five digs, and two ace serves. Clausen had eight digs and two ace serves.
Otters 2, Trojans 0
New Prague lost the final match to Fergus Falls, No. 3 in Class AA, 25-22, 25-22.
The team was 43 of 44 serving, with Hughes leading the Trojans with 15 assists and five digs. Ekness had an ace, five kills and 11 digs, Foss notched seven kills, five digs, an ace and two block assists, while Jendersee had four kills and an assist. Clausen had 13 digs.