Volleyball: Wingers fall to top Big Nine teams

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Red Wing got plenty of long rallies with a much-improved defense. But eventually, Northfield's balanced attack was too much to overcome for the Wingers volleyball team on Thursday night as the top team in the Big Nine Conference left Sonju Gymnasium with a three-set victory, 25-15, 25-13, 25-10.

"They got all six positions and they're coming at you, every one," said Red Wing head volleyball coach Dave Lyons. "We brought back a ton of balls they thought were down. We needed to get on a couple runs that we never really established."

Thought to be the Wingers' biggest question mark heading into the season, the back row has become arguably the team's biggest strength as four players finished with double-digit digs against Northfield (21-2, 10-0 Big Nine). Leading the way was libero Dani Deming with 16, followed by 13 for Vanessa Frazier and 12 each by Madisyn Lyons and Macy Koester.

"They give it their all and give us second chances and that's all I can ask," Lyons said of the team's back-row defense. "I tell them to just give us a chance and see if we can send it over and have the other team screw up."

On offense, Lyons was the only Winger with double-digit kills, finishing with 13 while also collecting a team-best two blocks. Koester finished the night with 24 set assists.

Dropping to 10-16 overall and 3-6 in the Big Nine, the Wingers will try to nab a road win next week, with a trips to Austin Monday and Winona Tuesday.

"Both those games, if we play like we did tonight, we should do alright," Coach Lyons said.