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 email@example.com, and follow him on Twitter @RE_KStevens.
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For six minutes on Friday, there was a lot of hope on the home sideline of Russ “Cougar” Marshall Field. Red Wing had a six-point lead, and the ball, against one of the top three teams in the Big Southeast Blue District. But Mankato East, which has been close to victories against Winona and Mankato West, found its footing soon after, putting the Wingers in a massive hole by halftime on its way to a 48-20 victory.
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.
ZUMBROTA -- Three minutes. That will be the defining time of Friday's game between Zumbrota-Mazeppa and St. Charles. For three quarters, the two teams fought each other, the wind, and some crucial mistakes. But when the final whistle blew, it was the Saints who came away with a big Southeast White District victory, 32-14, but probably not enough leverage in Section 1AA seeding.
The beginning of the playoffs means the season hangs on the outcome of every game. And on Tuesday, Red Wing played like it.
CANNON FALLS – After starting the season 1-3, Cannon Falls entered its homecoming game off a win over Byron. With a chance to get to .500, the Bombers took it to Lake City, 52-6, to even their record at 4-4, and good chance to maintain the No. 2 seed in Section 1AAA.
The wins haven't come in bunches, but there is no doubt that the Red Wing girls soccer team is playing well. The Wingers got a win over Austin on Monday, and on Tuesday, Red Wing gave Rochester Mayo all it could handle in a 2-1 loss. The Spartans, the second-place team in the Big Nine Conference standings, took a 1-0 lead with 14 minutes, 54 seconds left in the first period when Kayley Josephs fed a perfect pass to Sophie Butterfass who was able to chip the ball past Winger goalie Paige Harlow.
LAKE CITY – Daynalyn Jostock is the dominant force for Lake City. And for good reason. She set the school's all-time kills record last week, and added 30 to her total in a 3-0 win over Pine Island on Thursday. But for all the glitz and glamour that comes with being the big hitter, Jostock was merely a beneficiary of Julia Anderson's jaw-dropping display of defense against the Panthers. Anderson was everywhere. Digs are always mentioned, and defense is a big part of volleyball, but what Anderson did on Thursday was definition worthy.
All season, Red Wing has faced fastball pitchers. On Tuesday, the Wingers ran into changeup after change up, with the occasional curveball thrown in for good measure. No, the girls were not playing softball, but the all-off speed approach from Albert Lea was about as different as a volleyball and a bat, and it resulted in a 3-2 (25-22, 20-25, 22-25, 25-20, 15-11) Big Nine Conference victory.
The bleachers were packed, the band was playing, the sirens were blaring and Red Wing was raring to go for its homecoming game Friday night at Russ “Cougar” Marshall field. Hosting Big Southeast Blue District rival Winona, the Wingers came into the game having lost their first three games of the season, while the Winhawks were undefeated.
A couple weeks ago, Kenyon-Wanamingo head coach Jen Nerison commented on her team's inability to get off to slow starts. Nerison said it was a problem, but that, just two matches into the season, it was an issue she hoped to correct. On Saturday, the Knights saw their 13-match winning streak come to an end in Wabasha against Caledonia. A slow start was not the problem. In the three-set final of the Wabasha-Kellogg Tournament, K-W's 9-1 lead in the final game evaporated.