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Hopkins sweeps Wayzata, stays perfect in Lake Conference play

By Drew Herron, SportsEngine, 09/29/16, 4:00PM CDT


Jasmyn Martin had 20 kills and Anna Erickson added 10 to lead the Royals to another victory over the Trojans.

Hopkins senior Jasmyn Martin and Wayzata's Kate Berg battle at the net during the first set of Thursday night's match at Hopkins. The Royals swept the Trojans in three games to earn the crucial Lake Conference victory. Photo by Drew Herron/SportsEngine

Hopkins' junior Tara Lee sets up a pass during the third set Thursday night. Lee had a game-high 31 assists in the Royals three-set win over Wayzata. Photo by Drew Herron/SportsEngine

When goals are set, the daily grind to achieve them can become pedestrian.

During a recent practice, Hopkins’ coach Vicki Swenson couldn’t help but halt things and address the team frankly. What she saw was disinterest, even boredom from the girls as they worked their way through another fundamental passing drill.

“I get it, this isn’t fun, and you want to do something else,” she had said. “But losing isn’t fun, and if we can’t pass, then we aren’t going to win. So let’s just agree to do it and find out how we can become the most efficient at it." 

The message was received and the lesson applied, as evidenced by the Royals’ three-game sweep of Lake Conference rival Wayzata Thursday night at the Lindbergh Center, by scores of 25-18, 25-20 and 25-20.

For Hopkins, ranked No. 6-3A, those fundamentals that have progressed into a sort of muscle memory and the Royals’ passing machine has grown incredibly efficient to supply the heavy hitters up front.

““We’ve put in a lot of work (in practice) in recent weeks, and it showed tonight,” senior hitter Jasmyn Martin said. “We were able to play really strong, and everyone was doing the little things that helped us win.”

Martin, a Gophers’ recruit, finished with a game-high 20 kills and Anna Erickson added another 10 for the humming Royals offense. Supplying them was steady service funneling through junior setter Tara Lee’s 31 assists on the night.

It was as fine a passing performance that has been put together by the Royals this season, who were able to turn the pressure on and sweep a talented Wayzata team that took them to five sets in their first meeting on Sept. 13.

“I think at any level, this game is won at the baseline by serving, and then with first contact on serve receiving,” Swenson says. “I think right now, we are really doing a good job with both of those.”

“Tara did a great job of finding the right hitters at the right time,” she added. 
Serving was a strong point collectively for the Royals, as Tara Lee and Lauren Ortiz each collected a pair of aces and the team tallied seven for the match.

In a strong all-around performance, Hopkins senior Greta Werner added seven kills, 10 digs and a service ace for the Royals.  

Convincing a victory as it was, it will prove to be just another step as the season progresses. That said, the victory delivers another jolt of momentum for a Royals team that is closing in on a Lake Conference championship, the first in a line of fall goals for Hopkins.

“We have big team goals, and that’s the first one,” Martin said of winning the Lake Conference.

Whatever the three-set victory over Wayzata will mean, the efficient passing and overall process is moving forward as September comes to a close.

“Every day is just a baby step towards our goals,” Swenson said. “But what is important to us is that, on a daily basis, that we are able to find a way towards getting better, and taking things one play at a time.”

First Report

Hopkins picked up a convincing 25-18, 25-20, 25-20 straight-set victory over Lake Conference rival Wayzata on Thursday night at the Lindbergh Center. 

It was the second time this season that the Royals, ranked No. 5 in the Class 3A coaches' poll, notched a victory over the No. 6-3A Trojans, improving their record to 14-1 and maintaining the top spot in the league standings at 5-0.

Gophers recruit Jasmyn Martin (20 kills) and Anna Erickson (10 kills) provided the majority of the offense, while senior Greta Werner added seven kills, 10 digs and a service ace in a strong all-around performance. 

Serving was a strong point collectively for the Royals, as Tara Lee and Lauren Ortiz each collected a pair of aces and the team tallied seven for the match.

Wayzata drops to 11-4 on the season and 3-2 in the Lake Conference.

Wayzata hitter Kate Berg follows through with a kill attempt during the second set. Photo by Drew Herron/SportsEngine

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