ELK MOUND — After winning their first conference match against Boyceville earlier in the week, the Elk Mound volleyball team made it two in a row with a four set win over Colfax on their home floor Sept. 14.
The Vikings were coming off a big five set, come from behind win over Spring Valley two days before, and after the Mounders won the first two sets of this match by the identical scores of 25-21, it appeared Colfax would overcome a slow start again as they took the third set 25-13. But Elk Mound’s senior crew took control of the net in the fourth set and finished off the match with a 25-14 win.
“The difference in our third and fourth set was our passing,” Elk Mound coach Donna Weix said.” We did not pass the ball up to our front players very well in the third set and the girls knew it. But we didn’t panic in the fourth set and had better passing and took control of things. We knew we had to keep pressure on Colfax and couldn’t let them go on any long runs if we wanted to finish with a win,” she added.
The first set was knotted four times, the final time at 15-15 but the Mounders went up by three with Katie Bergh at the service line. They pulled out to a 22-16 lead with help by a few blocked shots and a pair of Colfax errors, but the Vikings got back to within three points at 23-20 on a Taylor Shipman block and two missed shots by the Mounders. Colfax failed to find any consistency with their offense however, allowing Elk Mound to take the first set on a shot into the net on their part.
The Mounders took a 14-11 lead in the second set with help of a Maddy Polden kill and a service ace from Becca Kopp but the Vikings came up big on a long rally later in the set when they blocked four consecutive kill attempts by the Mounders to get to a two point deficit at 19-17. Anna Sessions scored a point on a big slam for Elk Mound but Ryleigh Prochnow responded with a pair of kills for Colfax to knot the game at 20-20. Polden went on her own roll from the left side of the net as she slammed three straight balls past Colfax defenders for a 23-21 Mounder lead, and the set was finished off on a tip from Mattie Pitts for a point and a final Polden block.
After a 6-6 tie in the third set, the Vikings went on a five point run with Kori Buchanan at the serving line. They increased their lead to 14-8 before Kaysi Meindel put down a kill for the Mounders. but both teams were attacking the net as Shipman put a shot through the Elk Mound defenders, and Kopp returned the favor twice for the Mounders. After Chey Olson put a ball to the floor and Prochnow blocked one, the Vikings had a 19-12 lead and after moving to 23-18, they took the set on two errors by the Mounders.
After a 4-4 tie in the fourth set, Elk Mound took a lead they did not relinquish. A Polden kill was followed by a Meindel tip and a pair of kill shots to give them a 19-11 lead. Amanda Ward added a slam before the Vikings broke the streak on a Shipman tip shot, but Elk Mound’s presence at the net was too much as they scored their last four points by forcing Colfax errors.
“We got off to another slow start and had too many unforced errors which made it impossible to finish with the upper hand,” Colfax coach Pam Meredith said about the loss. “We missed eight serves and had 23 attack errors along with some miscommunication problems. Elk Mound is a scrappy team and they played with the confidence you would expect from a team with years of varsity and club team experience. I think the conference race will be tight and we have to stay focused if we want to stay in it.”
Meindel led Elk Mound with 14 kills and teamed with Polden for three blocks, while Kopp picked up 11 assists with two service aces and 10 digs. Polden added nine kills with 11 digs, Ward put down eight kills with six digs, and Bergh and Katie Johnson each had eight digs for the defense while Johnson also had 11 assists in the match.
Prochnow slammed 10 kills for the Vikings and added four digs and a block, Buchanan picked up eight kills, five service aces, six digs and 13 assists, Shipman finished with seven kills and six digs, Dachel led the team in assists with 19 and was 12 of 13 in the serving department while Olson saved points with eight digs.
Elk Mound 3 Boyceville 1
The Mounders started conference play with a 3-1 win at Boyceville Sept. 11, taking the first set 25-16 then dropped the second one by a close 26-24 score before putting the match away by winning the next two 25-14 and 25-17. Meindel had three of the team’s seven ace serves and she led the team in kills with 15 and blocked four shots. Kopp set her teammates up 17 times while Johnson added eight sets, Ward had 10 kills and Bergh dug the ball off the floor six times.