Custodians in both the Colfax and Boyceville gyms should be thanking the Colfax volleyball team for making their job a little easier last week when the Vikings swept St. Croix Central in their home gym Oct. 8 then went to Boyceville two days later and did the same to the Bulldogs. With the two wins and a Mondovi loss to Spring Valley, Colfax and those same Cardinals are now alone at the top of the conference with 7-1 records and will face off for the conference championship this Tuesday in the Colfax gym.
St. Croix Central
The Panthers pulled out to an early 8-4 lead before Emily Halpin scored on a quick tip for the Vikings, but Central scored again for a 9-5 lead. Colfax knotted things up at 10-10 on a Kori Buchanan kill down the sideline and it appeared the Vikings would pull away when they went up 13-10. But the Panthers took advantage of several Colfax errors and tied it up at 15-15 and went up by one before Buchanan slammed another shot down the right side to get the score at 16-16. A Buchanan tip and a Braanna Steen kill again made it look like the Vikings would take an easy win but Central knotted it at 20-20 before errors by both teams and back to back slams from Buchanan put Colfax up 23-21. A block kill by Chey Olson put Colfax at set point and Olson went to the service line and calmly sent over an unreturnable serve for a 25-22 win.
The Panthers gave the Vikings all they could handle to start set number two as the score was tied six times, the final time at 7-7 before Lakken Meredith set Buchanan up for a slammer, then made a shot with her back to the net for a point, which was followed by an Olson kill and another by Buchanan for a 12-7 lead. Dannielle Dachel served up three points and assisted Halpin for a kill and the Vikings were up 19-10 after a Buchanan ace serve. Halpin added a tip over the middle, Dachel set Alexis Rudi up for a slam and with the score at 23-12, Meredith ended the set with a pair of ace serves.
Set three was again close at the beginning as Central went up 4-1 before the Vikings tied it at 8-8. Buchanan came up with her hardest shot of the game, right down the middle to give Colfax a lead they never gave up. They pulled ahead 19-10 with Buchanan serving a trio of aces and a Halpin kill gave them a 20-12 lead. Central fought back to get the score at 24-19 but their final serve went into the net to give the Vikings the set and match.
Buchanan pounded out 14 kills to lead the team and Olson added seven while Rudi came up with five. Dachel and Meredith both set up teammates 18 times and Olson led on the defensive end with 13 digs to go with nine from Rudi. As a team, Colfax collected 11 service aces with Buchanan smacking six of them.
After winning the first two sets 25-17, 25-21, the Bulldogs gave the Vikings all they could handle before Colfax pulled out a 27-25 win in the third. According to coach Pam Meredith, Boyceville had plenty of momentum going for them late in the third set before Tuschl dug a high velocity kill attempt by the Bulldog’s April Lake off the floor to save a point, taking the wind out of the Boyceville sails. Colfax took over from that point to go on for the sweep.
Strong net play on the Viking’s part was a big factor in the match as Halpin had five block-kills for points while Buchanan, Steen and Olson combined for 28 kills with Buchanan slamming 13, Steen eight and Olson seven. Rudi led the serving brigade with four aces while Dachel picked up 15 assists and Meredith 12.
“We now have destiny in our own hands,” coach Meredith said.”We needed some help from other teams but we have a chance to win the conference in our final match on Tuesday night. We highly recommend everyone coming out to cheer us on,” she added.