After a loss to Elk Mound last week, the Colfax volleyball team bounced back with a four set win at home over Elmwood Sept. 18, then moved down highway 170 to Glenwood City two days later and came home with a three set win, bringing their conference record to 3-1.
Game one was knotted five times, the last at 12-12 before Chey Olson put down a kill for Colfax and Taylor Shipman served up four straight points including an ace, allowing them to take an 18-12 lead. Olson added another ace followed by a Kori Buchanan kill for a 22-13 lead but the Raiders rattled off three points to get close before Buchanan put another shot to the floor, then served up two points for a 24-17 lead. Alexis Rudi then finished the set off with a serve that resulted in a Raider error.
The Vikings fell apart in the second game however as they gave away several points by missing kills or not returning serves, allowing Elmwood to jump out to a 15-5 lead. But they rattled off five consecutive points as Ryleigh Prochnow slammed two kills and Taylor Shipman added another to go along with some nifty serving by Rudi which included two aces, and Colfax was down just 15-11. Several more Colfax errors put the score at 20-14 in the Raider’s favor before Dannielle Dachel sent four serves over with two aces in the mix and it was 20-18. Shipman added an ace followed by a Buchanan kill to put them down 24-21, but a missed serve on the Viking’s part gave Elmwood the set at 25-21.
“We did not play with a lot of intensity in the second set,” Colfax coach Pam Meredith said.
That lack of intensity changed in the third set however, after the Vikings were down 5-4, Buchanan stepped to the service line. Her sinking line drive serve was unreturnable four straight times and a kill by a teammate put them up 9-5. But the Raider’s Jessica Olson had a nasty serve herself and she picked up three aces to knot the game at 10-10. Prochnow and Shipman took charge after that as Prochnow smacked a kill and Shipman added two more for a 15-11 lead. Consistent serving by Dachel and Olson helped Colfax to take a 21-14 lead and a Prochnow block tacked on another point. The stage was set for Buchanan as she stepped to the service line and aced her opponents three straight times for a 25-14 third set win.
Rudi was hot from the line in the fourth set as she served 10 straight times with Brannaa Steen, Buchanan and Olson scoring on big slams while Olson added a tip shot and a block as Colfax took a 13-2 lead. Another Steen kill and a Buchanan ace increased the lead to 12 points at 17-5, and the Vikings never let the Raiders get closer then 10 points as Steen put the match away on a tip shot for the 25-13 win.
“As the season progresses, our ability to set the pace and tone of the match is going to be increasingly important for our won-loss record,” Meredith said. “Unfortunately, we have won some matches with a lower intensity level then I would like. The girls are going to have to figure out how to grit their teeth, dig their heels in and finish a match with an intensity level they are more than capable of playing with. We have a tough schedule ahead of us and we have to step up to the plate each and every night with our best foot forward,” she added.
Buchanan led the Vikings in kills with 11 and also had 11 aces with nine assists. Shipman added eight kills while Olson, Prochnow and Steen all finished with six. Dachel set her teammates up 12 times and Rudi was a dominant force from the back row not only with her serving but by digging the ball off the floor to save points several times.
The Vikings took care of the Toppers 25-13, 25-18 and 25-15 as Buchanan again led the team in kills with 11 and bedazzled Glenwood with eight aces from the serving line. Steen added six kills in the victory.
“We felt good about the win because there was a certain amount of focus in getting the job done efficiently,” Meredith said. “We will need to sustain a high level of play and set the pace of the match ourselves rather than allowing our opponent to set the pace as we continue through the season.”