The Caledonia volleyball team wrapped up a week of traveling and took fourth place at the Lakeville North tournament Friday and Saturday.
Coach Scott Koepke’s squad beat Henry Sibley and Prior Lake before losing to Marshall and Jackson County Central to end the weekend. The Warriors beat Henry Sibley 26-28, 25-1 and 15-4.
“After a bit of a rough start we got rolling pretty well in sets two and three,” Koepke said. “They had a lefty that was an amazing player. We struggled with her in set one and then started to adjust to her attacks digging and blocking her, which slowed their team down.”
In their next match against Prior Lake the Warriors rolled to a 25-21, 25-16 win. “This was a good win for our girls. This team had a lot of size,” Koepke said. “We played a pretty good first set and after being down 3-7 in set two, the girls turned it on and never looked back. They played smart, efficient volleyball and really got rolling.”
In the championship bracket Caledonia fell to Marshall 0-2 in semis 25-15-25-19 and then lost to Jackson County Central in the third place match 25-16 and 25-18.
“Marshall is ranked #1 in class AA for a reason,” Koepke said. “They have a very nice team and at times we were able to compete with them. We just made a few too many errors early in the match. When you’re playing teams of this caliber the little things is what it comes down to. The JCC match was another very tough match. One of the benefits to playing these top, best of the best teams is I can see there are areas I need to train our kids better at so we can compete in these matches. These teams are fundamentally so strong and when our players were making errors in different facets of the match I could see things I need to do a better job with getting them prepared.”
The Warriors opened up the week with a solid win at Winona, beating the home team 25-21, 25-20 and 25-13. “The girls really played some amazing volleyball on this night,” Koepke added. “Winona has a very strong physical team with great defense and no doubt will challenge for their section 1AAA title. We served very tough and were able to consistently serve them short, which also was a key. The girls played strong defense and transitioned to attack quickly with lots of power. This team is just so fun to watch when they’re clicking in all phases of the game. It was a great night of volleyball, very fun.”
The Warriors then beat Dover 25-12, 25-15, 25-19 Tuesday and Southland Thursday 25-13, 25-13 and 25-13.
“The girls served very well both these nights and played with very good effort. Both these teams are very athletic teams and send over a variety of shots. We had to play good defense to get those balls up,” Koepke said.
Caledonia will wrap up the regular season Thursday night at home against Chatfield.
– Brady Ambrose