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Volleyball: Wingers get first Big Nine win

Red Wing's bench celebrates during a 13-point run on Tuesday, a surge that gave the Wingers a second-set lead en route to a 3-0 victory over Austin. (Republican Eagle photo by Kyle Stevens)

Red Wing came into Monday's match against Austin winless in Big Nine Conference play. The Wingers were down to their final two chances to pick up a league victory, and decided not to wait until Tuesday's finale to make good.

After an easy first-set win, Red Wing had to battle in the second before pulling away for a 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-19) win over the Packers.

The second set was particularly eventful with Austin jumping out to a 13-7 lead. Winger head coach Dave Lyons called his second timeout at that point, a rare occurrence that early in a set.

“About halfway through that one, I was like, 'Oh, no, I've already used both,'” Lyons said with a laugh.

A couple of minutes later, and the same thought might have gone through the mind of Packers head coach Cindy Owen. And why not? Red Wing ripped off 13-straight points, taking a commanding 20-13 lead.

“Vanessa (Frazier) was just hot. She was serving, and she's got good movement on her balls. She had it working tonight,” Lyons said. “It was good.”

But the Packers were not going to go away. Some wayward passing from the Wingers, and some good net play from Austin, resulted in the Packers pulling within a point at 24-23. Red Wing held on after an attack error from the Packers, boosting confidence that was needed after Austin's comeback nearly thwarted the Wingers own.

“Sometimes we fold when that happens,” Lyons said. “But the girls wanted to win this one. We had a couple of good reasons to win it.”

In the third, Red Wing led 8-2 and 12-7, but the Packers continued to fight. Finally, up 15-14, the Wingers took more control, winning 10 of the final 16 points to capture their first league win of 2016.

Red Wing (7-19, 1-9 Big Nine) hosts Winona on Tuesday to close the regular season. The Section 1AA tournament begins Thursday, Oct. 27.

Kyle Stevens
Kyle Stevens is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, Kyle worked at the Owatonna People’s Press, as well as KWLM and KLFN in Willmar. You can contact Kyle by phone at (651) 301-7879, via e-mail at, and follow him on Twitter @RE_KStevens.
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