Packers gut out a game five for first win

Published 11:50 pm Monday, September 13, 2010

Austin volleyball players Kayla Rodgers (9) and Ashley Follmuth (1) show their joy after the Packers closed out their first win of the season in Packer Gym Monday night. Austin beat Blooming Prairie in five games. -- Rocky Hulne/

It didn’t come as easily as they had hoped, but the Packer volleyball team picked up its first win of the season after a five-game triumph over Blooming Prairie in Packer Gym Monday.

Austin (1-3 overall) trailed 14-10 in the fifth game when it rallied to score the last six points and cap a 25-17, 25-23, 18-25, 18-25, 16-14 win.

Meredith Molhusen spiked home the 12th, 14th and 16th points for Austin and BP (2-6 overall) missed three serves in the deciding game.

Austin's Meredith Molhusen tips a hit against the defense of Blooming Prairie's Kristin Hagan in Packer Gym Monday. -- Rockey Hulne/

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“We all just came together and the crowd really helped us out there,” said Molhusen, a senior hitter who finished with eight kills. “We had this little cheer we were doing the whole time and that got us pretty pumped. We all communicated and got together.”

Before the fifth game even started, Austin head coach Darica Schneider was thinking about the fans. She told her squad to choose to play in front of the student section and she figured it would help.

“I said do something early to get crowd the excited and their energy will carry you,” Schneider said. “It shows how big the crowd can be for momentum in a sport like volleyball.”

BP jumped out to a 6-1 lead in game five but Jenny Soiney came up with a few kills to keep Austin in the match and Babaye Oja slammed down a hit to make it 12-10.

“The setters did a really good job and we just had to find the holes to tip it or hit it there,” Molhusen said. “Whatever works.”

Austin cruised to a win in the first game, but it ran into some trouble in the second contest when BP led 23-20 after a Janelle Morem kill. Austin rallied to score the last five points of that game as Jenna Svoboda served an ace and hammered a kill and Soiney spiked a kill.

“We came in expecting to win and the way we started it looked like we were headed there,” Schneider said. “BP did a good job of fighting and we couldn’t put things together.”

BP cruised in games three and four, despite playing without their second best hitter, Yasmine Smith, who recently sprained her ankle. The injury forced BP to move senior Whitney Burt from the outside to the middle

Blooming Prairie's Janelle Morem goes up for a hit against Austin's Haley Underwood in Packer Gym Monday. -- Rocky Hulne/

“It really rattled the girls with (Yasmine) out and our whole rotation was mixed up,” BP head coach Gina McLaughlin said. “I was pretty nervous and I didn’t know who was going to show up tonight. I’m glad the Awesome Blossoms showed up. Austin is a ‘AAA’ school and they had a little more pride. They didn’t want to lose to (us) tonight. We’ll learn lessons and we’ve got to learn to play with that pride.”

Austin struggled from the serving line as it missed 15 serves, but had 11 aces.

Austin stats: Meredith Molhusen, 8 kills, 2 solo ace blocks; Jenny Soiney, 9 kills, 19 digs; Babaye Oja, 5 kills; Haley Underwood, 6 kills; Jenna Svoboda, 5 kills, 19 digs, 4 ace serves; Ashley Follmuth, 20 digs, 29 serve receives

BP stats: Kristin Hagen, 10 kills, 11 blocks, 2 ace serves, 17 digs; Marissa Noble, 25 set assists; Janelle Morem, 5 kills, 22 digs; Jenna Krell, 5 ace serves, 2 blocks; Whitney Burt, 7 kills, 15 digs, 2 blocks, 1 ace; Kierstin Wencl, 2 ace serves