By Brady Ambrose
The Caledonia volleyball team evened their conference mark at 2-2 with a pair of wins last week. On Tuesday the Warriors traveled to Dover-Eyota and returned home with a 3-0 sweep of the Eagles, winning 25-21, 26-24 and 25-22 and handing D-E their first conference loss.
Freshman Sam Schroeder led the Warrior offense with 10 kills, and eighth grader Adrianna Reinhart recorded 28 assists in the win. Lauren Rusert and Lottie Augedahl combined for 39 digs with Augedahl recording 20 and Rusert adding 19 more. Sophia Augedahl had three aces.
On Thursday Caledonia hosted Rushford-Peterson and took a 25-10, 16-25, 25-16, 25-23 Three Rivers conference win over the Trojans. The Warriors started with a bang, jumping out to a 7-1 lead in game one and extended the margin to 22-9 with a 15-3 run capped by a kill from Emily Hagerott.
The Trojans got a point on a kill from Brianna Koop, but the Warriors rolled to the game one win on a Lottie Augedahl serve that was too hot to handle for R-P.
“I was really proud of the girls for how they stuck to it out there,” coach Scott Koepke said. “The stoppage of play – stop here, stop there – I just want everyone to know that that’s on me. The rotational errors that we’re getting called on, that’s my fault, not the girls’.”
Game two turned into a dog fight. The Trojans took an early 4-3 lead, and the two teams battled back-and-forth until R-P went up 13-8. But Caledonia scored four straight points and got within one at 13-12 on a kill by Ashley Bichel.
After a Trojan timeout the Warriors stayed close at 15-13 on another kill from Bichel, but Rushford-Peterson answered with a 6-1 run. Down 21-14, Caledonia battled and got a kill from Augedahl. The Warriors scored two more times to close the gap to 21-16, but the Trojans scored three straight and won game two 25-16 on a kill from Keela Brand.
The Warriors bounced back in game three, winning 25-16. Caledonia went up 13-9 on an Augedahl kill and extended the lead to 20-12. Three straight kills from Lauren Rusert, McKenzie Denstad and Sam Schroeder put the game out of reach at 23-15, and the Warriors took the lead at two games to one with the 25-16 win.
Game four proved to be the best of the night. Caledonia led 12-9 before the Trojans stormed back and tied the game at 14-all when a kill by Denstad sailed out. With the score knotted at 15-all, Augedahl put down a spike from the back row that gave the Warriors a 16-15 lead.
Caledonia got up to 19-16 on a point from Denstad and the Trojans called timeout trailing 20-16. After the break R-P went on a 5-1 run as the Warriors hit four straight kill attempts either out or into the net.
Finally, with the score tied at 23-23, Bichel nailed a kill that was good and the Warriors won the match when R-P’s Sierra McNamer tried to dump the ball over the net but instead hit it into the net for a 25-23 Warrior win.
Koepke said that Bichel, “Has been working really hard on being intense all the time, going from pit to pin and getting off in transition. She’s making some big strides. I’m really proud of that – she gave us some solid play tonight.”
Reinhart finished with 32 assists and 19 digs, and Lottie Augedahl added 24 more in the win. Augedahl and McKenzie Denstad teamed up for 17 kills.
“The conference is strong and there are some good teams, so we feel real positive that we are moving forward,” Koepke said.
After hosting Mabel-Canton Monday Caledonia will host Winona Cotter Thursday at 7:15 p.m.