Pack on the Attack: Austin beats BP in four games

Published 10:19 pm Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The Austin volleyball team is still adjusting to its new head coach and it’s still looking to find the winning edge, but it took a big step in the right direction when it bounced back from a hole in game four to beat Blooming Prairie by scores of 25-21, 25-20, 21-25, 25-21 in Packer Gym Tuesday.

After winning the first two games, the Packers (2-4 overall) were facing a possible fifth game when BP jumped out to a 10-3 lead in the fourth game after Julia Work hammered home a kill. The Packers found their drive and slowly climbed back into the game, eventually tying it up at 16 on an Erica Lundberg kill. After Avery Thompson came up with a couple of key kills, Taige Iverson delivered the final blow as she tucked a spike into the sideline to win the match for Austin.

Austin’s Jordyn McCormack gets and early kill in game one against Blooming Prairie Tuesday night in Packer Gym. Eric Johnson/

“We have to have a shift in mentality. It’s not just a change in how we play. They have to believe they can win and want to win,” Austin head coach Lauren Cost said. “We’re working towards that every day.”

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Whenever Austin needed a big play in the match, Jordyn McCormack was there to deliver as she finished with 18 kills and eight ace serves. McCormack said the Packers felt a little more energy in front of a big crowd in Packer Gym as all other Austin events were cancelled due to rain on Tuesday.

“Our fan section is the best in the Big Nine and it was nice that they all came and supported us, even though their events were cancelled,” McCormack said. “I think we were a lot more disciplined tonight [than we had been]. We knew that it wasn’t going to be just handed to us and we knew what we had to work on from the weekend. We just all wanted to win.”

Blooming Prairie’s Maya Lembke reaches to receive a ball against Austin in game one Tuesday night in Packer Gym. Eric Johnson/

Austin setter Jenna Braaten finished with 31 set assists and 11 digs as she helped the Packers get back to the basics when BP made its push in the fourth game.

“When we started to get in that big deficit we had to remind ourselves that we need to pass well. When we have a good serve receive is when our offense really starts to move. In the third set our offense was slow and when we picked up our serve receive, we got back in it,” Braaten said. “A lot of the things that coach Cost has taught us have really helped us. It’s crazy to think it’s only the beginning of the season and we’ve already improved so much. We’re all really excited to see how much more we can improve this season.”

BP (2-6 overall) was led by the hitting of Micalyn Trihus, who had a key kill to put BP up 22-21 and a kill to put BP up 24-21 in the third game. Trihus, a sophomore, finished with 10 kills.

Blooming Prairie’s Micalyn Trihus hits early in game one against Austin Tuesday night in Packer Gym. Eric Johnson/

The Packers picked up their first win of the season in the Rochester tournament over the weekend when they beat Southland 25-23, 25-22. Austin lost to BP 23-25, 18-25, 15-12 in Rochester, it lost to Byron 25-23, 25-17, and it lost to St. Michael/Albertville 25-9, 25-8.

Blooming Prairie’s Micalyn Trihus attacks during game two against Austin Tuesday night in Packer Gym. Eric Johnson/

Austin stats: Jordyn McCormack, 18 kills, 2 blocks, 8 ace serves; Avery Thompson, 3 kills, 3 blocks; Erica Lundberg, 8 kills, 6 blocks; Elyse Hebrink, 10 digs; Jenna Braaten, 31 set assists, 11 digs; Lily Holtz, 5 kills, 3 ace serves; Madisyn Retterath, 13 digs; Taige Iverson, 4 kills

BP stats: Micalyn Trihus 10 kills, 7 digs, 3 ace serves; Rachael Oswald 9 kills, 9 digs; Julia Worke 5 kills, 14 digs; Heather Pirkl, 24 assists; Maren Forystek, 13 digs

Austin’s Taige Iverson hits during game one against Blooming Prairie Tuesday night in Packer Gym. Eric Johnson/