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home : sports : sports April 15, 2014

11/4/2013 4:04:00 PM
Trojans fall to Eden Prairie
By Matt Thomas
Sports Editor

After a mediocre first half of the season, the Wayzata Trojans were playing their best volleyball of the season when it counts the most.

After upsetting the top seed Minnetonka in three games in section semifinals, the No. 5-seeded Trojans gave the No. 2-seed Eden Prairie all it could handle in last Saturday's section championship game but wound up falling in four competitive games.

The Eagles won the first two games as they used big runs in the middle of each game to turn close games into relatively comfortable victories by scores of 25-18 and 25-21.

Wayzata led game one 13-12 until the Eagles scored seven straight points to take a 19-13 lead.

Sophomore outside hitter Briley Nichols was key for the Eagles during the run as she recorded three kills.

The Trojans leaned on senior Mariah Halvorsen and junior Tia Dille-Starks to take a 15-11 lead in game two.

But the Eagles responded by winning 11 of the next 13 points to open up a 22-17 lead before grabbing the two games to zero lead.

The Trojans again jumped out to a big lead in game three as they led 20-13 before the Eagles rallied once again.

Eden Prairie had a match point at 26-25, but back-to-back kills by Halvorsen and Dille-Starks gave Wayzata a game point at 27-26.

A net violation by the Eagles on the next point gave the Trojans the game and some momentum heading into game four.

The Trojans played well in game four and had two chances to even the match at two games apiece, but were denied each time.

With the Trojans leading 24-23, the Eagles got a kill from junior middle hitter Aulora Campbell to extend the game.

Then with the Trojans leading 25-24, a Wayzata service error erased the second game point.

The Trojans then committed two hitting errors on the final two points to end the match.

Halvorsen recorded a team-high 18 kills in her final match as a Trojan.

Dille-Starks added 15 kills, senior middle hitter Marissa Groechel recorded 10 kills, while freshman outside hitter Kate Berg had nine kills.

After starting the season 6-10 in their first 16 matches, the Trojans really turned their season around and went 13-4 in their final 17 matches of the season.

The Trojans graduate nine seniors from this year's roster including Halvorsen and Groechel, but will be able to build around Dille-Starks, Berg and freshman setter MacKenzie Groechel.

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