10-31 AA volleyball roundup
By Sarah Doty
It will be a repeat of last year Saturday in the Section 1AA championship volleyball match as the No. 1-seeded Stewartville Tigers will once again face the No. 1-seeded Caledonia Warriors after both teams easily advanced Thursday night.
Caledonia (28-4) defeated Chatfield 3-0, in the 1AA East Subsection Championship, and Stewartville (25-4) swept Pine Island in the 1AA West Subsection Championship.
The last time the two teams met, Stewartville downed Caledonia 25-19, 25-9, 25-16. But the Warriors weren’t at full strength, with outside hitter Megan King playing on a sprained ankle. This year King is healthy, and Stewartville coach John Dzubay isn’t taking the match lightly.
"They run a quick offense so that will be a tough challenge," he said. "But this is a good team. It should be a good game."
Warriors coach Scott Koepke and his team are also excited for the matchup.
"We will come out and work hard and give it the best they can," Koepke said. "They have a lot of experience, but we are just going to go out and give it our best shot. We are looking forward to it."
CALEDONIA 3, CHATFIELD 0
Warriors tough in three
At times it wasn’t pretty, but the Warriors of Caledonia found a way to come up with a victory Thursday night and advance to the Section 1AA championship.
Chatfield started out well, scoring points off several kills and errors by Caledonia to go ahead 10-4.
Caledonia really seemed out of sync, but several blocks and their tough play at the net changed the tempo of the game.
Then it was Chatfield’s turn to struggle. Strong serving by senior Libby Augedahl propelled the Warriors ahead to 18-17, and eventually to win the game.
Game two was a different story, with Caledonia coming out strong from the start and taking an early 4-1 lead. Senior setter Cassie Gran was able to find the holes in the Gopher defense, and the Warriors executed their offense well to take the second game 25-19.
It was more of the same in game three when the Warriors ran a smooth offense and repeatedly found King (16 kills) and Amber Sorenson (13 kills) for the point.
"I’m proud of the girls," said Koepke. "It was a tough match. We got pushed, but we stayed the course and did pretty well."
Caledonia 3, Chatfield 0
Caledonia 25 25 25
Chatfield 21 19 20
Caledonia: Laquita Becker 8 digs; Libby Augedahl 8 kills, 8 digs; Amber Sorenson 13 kills; Cassie Gran 28 set assists; Megan King 16 kills, 11 digs.
Chatfield: Morgan Bushman 6 kills; Sammy Redman 9 digs; Emily Miller 7 ills, 2 blocks; Kaitlyn Keefe 15 digs, 3 ace serves; Emily VonWald 8 digs; Jordyn Dudek 9 digs, 23 set assists.
Notes: Chatfield didn’t miss a serve the entire match. They will end their season 25-5, Caledonia improves to 28-4.
STEWARTVILLE 3, PI 0
Stewartville looking for 19
Stewartville got one step closer to earning its 19th section title Thursday night as they easily defeated Pine Island 25-17, 25-15, 25-14.
Although the scores don’t show it, the games were close, with long volleys and tough play on both sides.
Both teams strayed from the standard bump, set, spike, and instead found luck with a more off-tempo game which allowed for many tips and finding holes in the opponent’s defense.
Stewartville didn’t let that last for long though, and served up several tough balls that Pine Island just didn’t have an answer for.
"We are more of a rhythm team," said Pine Island Coach Rick Canton. "They are a great team, and they took away the areas that we were aiming for. They are hard to score points on."
Stewartville continued to play tough through the next two games, and while Pine Island battled back with rallies, it just wasn’t enough to beat the Tigers.
"(Pine Island) just kept playing defense, but I thought we played really good defense tonight," said Dzubay. "Julie (Rainey) had some unbelievable saves.
"This is just the best," said Dzubay of advancing. "This is so fun."
Stewartville 3, Pine Island 0
Stewartville 25 25 25
Pine Island 17 15 14
Stewartville: Stephanie York 16 digs; Julie Rainey 13 kills, 6 blocks, 24 digs; Emily Rainey 20 set assists, 1 ace block; Lisa Flynn 11 digs; Alyssa Hoth 10 digs; Lindsay Blahnik 6 blocks; Erica Nelson 13 digs.
Pine Island: Whitney Canton 10 kills, 9 digs, 4 blocks; Steph Acker 9 kills, 2 set assists, 8 digs, 3 blocks; Cathy Rennie 3 kills, 24 set assists, 13 digs, 17 blocks; Jess Acker 3 digs, 13 blocks; Alyssa Finstuen 7 kills, 8 digs; Kayla Reitman 14 digs.
Notes: Stewartville improves to 25-4, Pine Island finishes 20-8-1.