By Brady Ambrose
The Caledonia volleyball Warriors improved to 6-1 in the Three Rivers Conference with a 3-0 sweep of Rushford-Peterson Sept. 27 at Caledonia.
With Maria Fruechte and Emma Lange combining for 28 kills, the Warriors overcame a slow start in game one and eventually took control, winning 26-24, 25-17 and 25-12.
Caledonia struggled in the early-going, a trend that coach Scott Koepke says the team talked about.
“We talk to the girls all the time and they told us that they want to come out more focused than that and we agreed to that.”
The Trojans were hitting on all cylinders in the early going, grabbing a 3-0 lead that they extended to 11-7, forcing Koepke to call a time out. The Warriors scored three straight points to get within 11-10 and tied the match at 14 all when Rushford-Peterson was called for a net violation.
A block from Fruechte put Caledonia up 16-15, but the Trojans scored twice and went up 17-16 on an ace serve from Amy Todd.
Tied at 18, the Trojans scored twice to grab a 20-18 lead. Lange then connected on three points to tie the game at 21 before a kill from Jordan Goree gave the lead back to the Trojans at 22-21. Rushford seemed to have the game in hand when a Lange smash went into the net and Fruechte was called for going over the top of the net for a 24-21 Trojan lead.
But Lange put down a clean kill and Fruechte added another. When Fruechte and Taylor Winjum blocked a spike attempt by the opposition, Caledonia had tied the game at 24-24 and Rushford called a time out.
Winjum then gave the Warriors the lead with a quick-hitter out of the break and Caledonia won game one when the Trojans couldn’t get the ensuing serve over the net, giving the Warriors a 26-24 game one win.
The Warriors got on track in game two, rolling out to a quick lead and eventually going up 13-7. After a Trojan time out Rushford closed the gap to 16-10, but the Warriors went up 21-13 on a Lange blast and won game two 25-17 on a kill from Maddy Mullins.
Caledonia again never trailed in game three. Fruechte put down a monster kill for a 12-6 lead and Lange served up an ace. The Warriors took a double-digit lead at 16-6 and extended the lead to 21-8. A kill from Lottie Augedahl made the score 22-10, and Mullins won game three with a blast for the 25-12 final.
Koepke said, “The third set they played some very good volleyball. They were clicking much better in all phases in that third set, and we’re working to have that focus and intensity in all three games.”
Winjum added 40 assists for Caledonia, who is ranked seventh in the latest class AA poll.
Up next was a trip to Winona Monday. “We had a good weekend up in the cities, I think we are improving in some areas, but I think we are on the right track. Winona will be a very tough match.”
At Kingsland Sept. 25 Fruechte had 17 kills and Mullins added 11 for the seventh-ranked Warriors, who won 25-11, 25-15, 25-12.