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Colfax netters take three straight from Mounders

In what was considered to be a match between two of the best teams in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference, the Colfax volleyball team took advantage of timely kills and consistent serving on their part along with several errors by Elk Mound to win the opening conference match for both teams in three sets 25-18, 25-23 and 25-13 on the Vikings’ home court Sept. 17. Two days later the Vikings won another match in straight sets at Elmwood and the Mounders bounced back with a win, also in three sets at home against Spring Valley.

Colfax took a 4-2 lead in the first set on a Braanna Steen block and after the Mounders scored on an Anna Sessions kill, the Vikings held slim leads of 5-4 and 6-5 before gradually pulling away. Six straight points which included a tip shot from both Kori Buchanan and Emily Halpin and a Buchanan slam made it 12-5 but the Mounders came up with a run of their own with four points including a tip over by Elly Friberg to get them closer, down 13-9. Kills by Buchanan and Steen combined with two serves by Buchanan which were un-returnable increased the Colfax lead to 17-9 before Elk Mound began to creep back getting to within three points at 18-15 on a Sessions kill after a long rally. A Chey Olson tip and an ace serve from Lakken Meredith brought the Colfax lead back to five and the Mounders responded again with a Sessions slam and a serve from Mckenna Borofka that found an opening in the Vikings’ defense. With the score at 22-18 for Colfax, points by Shipman and Olson at the net and a final ace serve by Meredith put the first game away.

Elk Mound took a 4-0 lead in set two with Morgan Polden at the service line but a run of six points by Colfax including a tip from Halpin to tie it at 4-4, a kill from Buchanan to go ahead and a Halpin slam down the middle  increased the lead by two. The Mounders came right back with three points to regain the lead but Colfax took it back at 8-7 on a block at the net and a Mounder error. A slam by Elk Mound knotted things up again but the Vikings  slowly began to pull away, getting a five point lead at 15-10 on back to back shots from Shipman. A Buchanan cross court slam, a Halpin block followed by her kill shot and another Elk Mound error put the Vikings up 20-11 before the string was broken on their own error. Carissa Wieser served up three points for the Mounders as Sessions scored on a kill and Mauer added a tip shot to cut their deficit to 21-15 and they got closer, down 22-18 on another Sessions slam. The Vikings got to set point at 24-20 on a sliding tip by Dannielle Dachel but the Mounders kept battling and by virtue of a kill and two Colfax misques, got back into the game down 24-23. Meredith then put the set away for the Vikings on a quick tip over the middle of the net.

“We knew coming in we were playing a tough team who are very well coached,” Colfax coach Pam Meredith said. “I told our girls we had to play hard, have a clean game and be aggressive the whole match. We had to find a high level of play and try to maintain that level throughout. Elk Mound had a lot of errors they normally don’t have so the combination of our play and their mistakes set the tone early.”

There was no more than a three point differential by either team in set three until Olson put Colfax up 9-5 via a block but the Mounders pulled to within a point at 10-9 on a Viking error. Then Dachel served three times with Halpin and Shipman combining for a block, Halpin denied another Mounder point on her own stuff and a net call on Elk Mound put the Vikings up 13-10. Wieser served up an ace which was countered by a Buchanan kill, and Buchanan’s own ace increased the Colfax lead to 15-11 before the Mounders came back again to bring the deficit back to two points at 15-13.

From there on out it was all Colfax as Tuschl stepped to the service line and rattled off 10 consecutive serves. The Vikings earned points on kills by Steen and Olson, but the Mounders didn’t help themselves as they failed to get anything set up offensively and gave up eight points on miscues, including the point for the set and match.

“We just didn’t play well tonight,” Elk Mound coach Donna Weix said. “We were tentative at the net while Colfax was very aggressive. We seemed afraid to hit the ball and we had a lot of mental errors. We’ll see how we handle this loss at our next practice and game because even though we have a long season ahead of us, this could set the tone for the rest of the year,” she added.

The Vikings were led by Buchanan on the offensive and defensive side as she collected 14 kills, three ace serves and 12 digs. Halpin added eight kills and Olson came up with nine digs and two solo block kills. Meredith set her teammates up successfully 15 times and Dachel 14 times.

Sessions led the Mounders in kills with 11 while Schreiber and Polden both had three. Johnson finished with 13 sets to go with nine from Kotecki and the Mounders were busy in the back row as they totaled 66 digs in the match with Johnson leading the way with 14, Kotecki added 12, Kyra Anderson nine and Friberg and Rachel Caron seven each.

Colfax 3-Elmwood 0

The Vikings won by scores of 25-23, 25-8 and 25-15 to move their conference record to 2-0. Steen and Shipman led the charge with eight kills each while Faith LaNou had a team leading six service aces and Meredith added five. Dachel finished with 11 assists to go with 10 from Meredith and Dachel, Rudi and Olson combined for 31 of 31 at the service line.

Elk Mound 3-Spring Valley 0

Coach Weix put the question to rest as to how her players would respond after the Colfax loss as the Mounders dominated the net in the 25-19, 25-19, 27-25 win over the Cardinals. Friberg was a built in wall as she blocked eight shot attempts and put down six kills. Polden led the team in the kills department however with 11, and Sessions finished with eight, Schriver added five and Pitts three while Johnson came up with 16 assists and Kotecki 14.Johnson aced four of her serves and picked up five digs while Caron was the team leader in digs with seven and Schreiber added three with Kotecki, Anderson and Borofka all came up with two.