By Brady Ambrose
The Caledonia volleyball team will play for a trip to the Excel Energy Center after winning their first two tournament matches last week.
On Saturday the Warriors (23-6) beat La Crescent 25-13,25-9,25-14, and will now take on Chatfield Thursday night in the section 1AA East Championship at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester. Coach Scott Koepke said “The girls played with a very strong attitude. We communicated pretty well and I thought we played some fast volleyball. Our passing and setting allowed us to get our attack going real well and it was very fun to watch.”
After the Lancers tied game one at 13-13 the Warriors got on a nice serving run and pulled ahead and eventually ran the table, winning 25-13.”We served very well,” Koepke said. “The girls served short real well which allowed us to get them out of system (passing the ball off the net).
The strong serving also allowed Caledonia to get some good chances to get their offense running and the bench did a very nice job of giving the team energy. “I was real proud of all the girls.” Koepke said. Maria Fruechte and Emma Lange teamed up for 30 kills with Fruechte tallying 17 and Lange 13 with Lottie Augedahl adding eight and Maddy Mullins six more. Taylor Winjum recorded 40 assists in the match.
On Thursday night Caledonia opened up tournament play at home against Winona Cotter. The ramblers (4-22-1) put up a good fight in game one before the Warriors put them away with a 25-20 win, and Caledonia then rolled to a 25-11 win in game two and a 25-7 route in the third game.
Caledonia jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in game one but Cotter fought back and closed the gap to 10-9 with an ace serve from Hannah Spiten. But the Warriors slowly took control with a 7-3 run to go up 17-12. A kill from Fruechte, who hadd 11 on the night, gave Caledonia a 20-15 lead but Cotter hung around and got as close as 221-18 before a kill from Lange and another from Maddy Mullins gave the Warriors a five point lead at 23-18. Cotter then scored three of the next four points to keep the game alive at 24-20 but Fruechte put down a tip-kill for the 25-20 final.
The Warriors then took over in games two and three. Clinging to an early 5-4 lead the Warriors then outscored the Ramblers 12-3 to take a double-digit lead at 17-7. A tip-kill from Mullins extended the lead to 21-9 and the Warriors quickly won game two on a kill from Laura Jergenson.
Game three was even quicker than game two as the Warriors again pulled away with a big run. Leading 8-4 Caledonia scored 10 of the next 12 points and opened up an 18-6 lead that all but put the final nail in the coffin for Cotter. A block from Lange and a kill from the back row from Lottie Augedahl gave the Warriors a 22-6 lead and Caledonia advanced with an ace serve from Lange and a free point on match point as Cotter couldn’t get the ball over the net, giving the Warriors an easy 25-7 win.Fruechte and Mullins each had 11 kills in the win with Lange adding eight more. As a team the Warriors served up six aces.
Caledonia will return to Rochester Thursday night to take on the Gophers, who they swept 3-0 Oct. 11 at Caledonia. Chatfiled beat #3 seeded St. Charles 3-1 Saturday to advance.