Trying not to let all the homecoming festivities distract them, the Colfax volleyball team had to play four sets against the always hard hitting Mondovi Buffaloes Tuesday night at home. They then took the long and scenic road to Pepin two days later and returned with their perfect conference record intact, winning in three sets. Colfax is now 4-0 in conference play tied, with Elk Mound for the top spot.
The match began with yet another tremendous performance by Kori Buchanan and Chey Olson who combined to slam 12 kills in the first set of the 25-10 win. Marianne Scharlau added a tip, Dannielle Dachel and Alexis Rudi both scored on kills and Courtney Ottinger served up three points including an ace. Buchanan added six serves with a pair of aces, Olson collected points on four serves and with Lakken Meredith at the service line with the score at 24-10, Dachel put a final slam down for a 25-10 first set win.
But Mondovi has been a conference contender the past several years and although they are somewhat in a rebuilding mode this season, they adjusted their defense and caused several Colfax errors with some blocks and tons of digs in the backcourt which appeared to frustrate the Viking hitters. Colfax fell behind early 4-0 and attempted to keep it close but were down by six at 18-12 before they got to within two points at 19-17 on a Scharlau-Buchanan block. They were down by four again a couple of plays later however, but after a Buchanan kill and a Buffalo error, they were back in business behind 22-21. Then two serving errors by the Vikings and a final Mondovi ace serve evened the match at a set each with Mondovi winning 25-22.
The Buffs seemed to be in control as they held leads of 7-2 and 9-3 in the third set before Colfax woke up and went on a short roll. A Mondovi serving error, a Buchanan solo block and another with teammate Dachel brought Colfax closer, down 9-6 and with an Olson kill from the middle, the Vikings finally knotted the score at 12-12. It went to 13-13 and 14-14 before Meredith set Olson and Buchanan up for slams and a two point lead. Increasing the lead to 20-16 on pair of Buchanan smacks, it looked like Colfax was back in control but a Mondovi slam through a block and two Colfax errors cut the Viking’s lead to a point. With Ottinger serving at 21-20, Buchanan, Scharlau and Olson all scored and with a couple of Mondovi misques, Colfax had set three 25-20.
Colfax was a little more focused (and probably ready to get to the bonfire) as they pulled out to a 7-3 lead in the fourth set after Meredith set Olson up for a kill down the middle. They upped the lead to 17-8 with help by kills or tips from Olson, Rudi, Scharlau and Buchanan. Dachel was consistent as usual from the service line and served up a string of points including an ace but they allowed Mondovi to get back to within four points after a few kills were a little too strong and landed out of bounds. Leading 21-17, a pair of Mondovi errors with a Meredith ace in between put Colfax at set point at 24-21 and Meredith put the match away with a quick tip shot over the defenders hands.
“After winning the first set pretty handily, we had a rough second one,” coach Pam Meredith said. “We had poor passing and slow transitions and Mondovi capitalized on our serving errors. But we came back in the third set after falling behind against a strong defensive team.”
Olson led the Vikings with 20 kills and 24 digs in the match while Buchanan slammed 16 kills with 21 digs. Libero Bryana Buchanan collected 15 digs to save points, Meredith finished with 45 assists and Dachel was perfect at the serving line going 18 for 18 with a trio of aces.
Colfax won the match with scores of 25-16, 25-21 and 25-17 with Kori Buchanan finishing with 12 kills, 14 digs and three service aces. Olson collected 11 kills and 15 digs, Scharlau led in blocks with five and Meredith assisted her teammates 26 times.
“This was a great win for us during the busy homecoming week,” coach Meredith said. “It is always tough to travel, especially to the farthest team in the conference when there is so much activity going on. Like all teams, we have some things we need to work on so we can run our offense and defense more efficiently. The girls should be proud of their effort so far this season,” she added.
After a weekend tournament in Cameron, Colfax will host Plum City Sept. 30 then travel to St. Croix Central Oct. 2.