By Kelsie Hoitomt
GLENWOOD CITY- It was a quiet start to the volleyball match on Tuesday, October 2 when the Hilltoppers faced off against the Spring Valley Cardinals.
The Cardinals are 3-4 in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference after beating the Toppers 3-1 (21-25, 25-12, 25-17, and 28-26).
The Hilltoppers seemed to be lackluster in their performance as a word was hardly said on the floor or on the bench.
They seemed to be an entirely different team from the one that beat the Elmwood Raiders in a clean 3-0 sweep the previous week as there were several missed hits, serves and kills.
The Hilltoppers won the first set and then lost the following two out right, but they finally came alive in the fourth set as their lead hitter Haley Tiberg was finally able to connect with the ball and get six kills and three blocks.
The Toppers played incredibly well in the fourth set as the game stayed tied several times.
It was helped along by seniors Kelsie Knops and Stephanie Caress as each went on a 4-5 point serving run thanks to their well-executed jump serves.
Megan Samens placed two tipped balls to tie the score at 24-24 and then for the lead of 25-24, but it was a difficult pass return that would end the set at 26-28.
With Tiberg sitting out for a set, junior Kelly Perkins was able to step in along the net and play one of her best games with eight kills, a solo block and several other assisted blocks.
Also in the game, Caress had two kills, two services aces and 22 assists, Maggie Jordheim had one kill, Tiberg had 12 kills, four blocks, seven digs and two services aces, Elizabeth Nyhus had one kill and two blocks, Ashley Burns had one kill, Knops had three kills and two services aces and Mikaela Voeltz who took over as libero had one service ace and 14 digs.
Loss in Mondovi
The Toppers had a day of rest before they hit the road to Mondovi where they fell in three straight sets to the Buffaloes.
“It was a rough loss, again there were too many unforced errors and they didn’t do as good of a job putting balls down and scoring points. Our blocking wasn’t as strong as usual and we had a lot of mistakes at the net with violations and hitting balls out. They hung in through the long rallies and played spectacular defense, but had trouble coming up with the win,” said coach Chelsea Culver.
All together on the night, Caress had 14 assists and three services aces, Kenzie Kruse had six assists, Tiberg had six kills and 12 digs, Voeltz had 11 digs, Knops had seven digs and three kills, Perkins had five kills and two blocks and Nyhus had three kills and two blocks.
The Toppers had Senior Night on Tuesday as they hosted the Pepin Lakers for their last home game of the regular season.
The Toppers will play their first round of regional on Tuesday, October 16. The seeding meeting has not been done yet, therefore it is undetermined where the Hilltoppers will play and who against.