The Colfax and Plum City volleyball teams began their match on the Viking’s home court Oct. 2 in a virtual tie for second place in the conference, both with just one loss, but at the end of the evening it was the Colfax team that remained in second place with a gutsy come from behind win in five sets over the Blue Devils. The Vikings solidified their hold on second place with a four set win on the road against St. Croix Central two days later.
It appeared to be two different teams on the court for the Vikings as they were completely out of sync in the first set, falling behind 13-7 and never recovering, resulting in a 25-15 loss. And after falling behind 4-1 in the second, it didn’t look much better for the home team. But Kori Buchanan slammed a pair of kills, Ryleigh Prochnow tipped a ball off the net for a point and Chey Olson served up an ace for a 7-4 Colfax lead. Prochnow added two more points on a shot down the middle and a two handed tip as Buchanan sent two service aces over for an 11-5 lead. The Vikings didn’t let the Blue Devils get any closer than five points the rest of the set as they took it 25-14.
Then the team from game one reappeared as the Vikings fell behind 9-1 before Buchanan stopped the Plum City run with another kill. They battled back to get within five points a few times, but the Blue Devils were nailing the corners with kill shots and went up 22-12. A Buchanan kill and a Prochnow block combined with an error by the opponents brought Colfax back to a seven point deficit at 22-15 but two slams by the Blue Devils and an error by Colfax gave Plum City a 25-16 win in set number three.
With their backs against the wall, Colfax jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the fourth set as Dannielle Dachel served four times with Buchanan slamming a couple of shots in the run. Taylor Shipman scored on a block and with Emily Tuschl serving, Braanna Steen–sore knee and all– put down a kill for a 15-10 Colfax lead. But Marah Boyer served up a bunch of points, giving Plum City a 17-15 lead before Shipman came up big on back to back plays, first with a kill and then a block for a 17-17 tie. The score was knotted 18-18, 19-19, 20-20 and 21-21 and after falling behind by one, Prochnow put the ball straight down to the floor to tie things at 22-22. From there, Alexis Rudi served the game out as the Blue Devils failed to get another point, giving Colfax the 25-22 win and sending the match into a fifth set.
Dachel and Heather Tweed helped the Vikings take a 6-1 lead with solid serving combined with a cross court kill from Buchanan and a shot by Emily Halpin. Dachel sent a slick shot over for a point when it looked like she was going to set the ball up to a teammate and Buchanan assisted Shipman for a kill and a 10-6 Colfax lead. Plum City scored two quick points but with Viking players flying all over the court, not allowing anything to land on their side, they seemed to go into a panic mode when they couldn’t get a point to land and they committed three errors. Shipman and Olson combined for a block and Buchanan made it set and match for the team at 15-8 with a final cross court kill.
“We really had to battle back after losing that first set,” Colfax coach Pam Meredith said. “But we lost our momentum again after winning the second one. We finished the match strong, though. We had three players serve 100% which were Dannielle Dachel (19 for 19), Alexis Rudi (16 for 16) and Emily Tuschl (8 for 8). That is huge when you play good teams. Heather Tweed did a great job coming in to serve strong and play aggressive defense,” she added.
Buchanan led the Vikings in kills with 19 and added 12 assists, Prochnow finished with 12 kills, 14 digs and a pair of blocks and Shipman slammed seven kills to go with six for Steen. Rudi saved points with 33 digs while Olson picked up 16 digs and served 18 of 19 and Shipman had three blocks.
St. Croix Central
After losing the first set to the Panthers 25-21, the Vikings regrouped and took the next two sets quite handily by scores of 25-12 and 25-14. They found themselves behind, however in the fourth 16-6 before fighting all the way back for a 25-21 win, ending the match without having to go to that always intense fifth set.
Prochnow and Olson led the offensive attack with 12 kills each with Buchanan adding 11 and Steen six. Dachel was a definite force in the front line with 20 assists, and from the back line with a 17 for 17 serving performance including five aces. Rudi again led the defense with 16 digs and according to coach Meredith, Halpin had a great match as she consistently kept the ball in play on both the offensive and defensive side.
Colfax has one conference match remaining on the schedule, a home match against Boyceville Oct. 9 and has a couple of Saturday tournaments before they begin regional play Oct. 16.