LAKE CITY - Eventually, experience won out for Red Wing.
Returning five of its six starters from a year ago, the Wingers' volleyball team got off to a slow start and dropped the first set of Thursday's season-opening match to Lake City.
But, Red Wing kept it together and overcame the young Tigers squad for a four-set victory, 23-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-12.
"They were just finding where the holes were and putting Lake City on their heels," said Wingers head coach Dave Lyons.
Using cross-court shots to pressure Red Wing's back row, Lake City fought off a late Wingers charge to take the first set. Amber Geolat and Delaney Issendorf shared the team lead with seven kills apiece. Morgan West added 10 digs, and Kenzie Noll came up with four ace blocks for the Tigers.
"We talk a lot about finding the holes and we did that hitting the cross shot," said Lake City head coach Kirk Thornton.
But that late momentum Red Wing found in the first set, that carried over for the rest of the match.
With a steady stream of balls set for Madisyn Lyons (25 kills, eight digs, four blocks, four set assists), the Wingers started to make the Tigers scramble for the ball. Along with Madisyn's standout night, Abi Deming and Kate Sonju added six kills apiece, with Hannah Rodgers and Vanessa Frazier also pounding the ball for five kills each. Macy Koester had 32 set assists to facilitate the offense.
While not as tall as Lake City's players at the net, Red Wing focused its attack down the line, finding plenty of success with its outside hitters.
"They had some good blockers up there so we had to try and make the move around and eventually, it would open up between (the blockers) so we could start finding some of those gaps," Dave said. "Throw in some of our tips and we got them chasing around, which got us a lot of free balls on our side that we could set up and pound it down."
On Tuesday, Red Wing (1-0) will head to Cannon Falls while Lake City (0-2) will make the trek to Hayfield.