By Brady Ambrose
A pair of wins propelled the Caledonia volleyball team to a 3-1 record last week, improving their overall record to 8-10-1 as the regular season enters the final two weeks of the schedule.
On Sept. 23 the Warriors dropped a tough match to Rochester John Marshall 20-25, 25-19, 23-25 and 23-25.
“The girls played a very high energy match using the circle after points very well,” coach Scott Koepke said. “Rochester JM had some very strong attackers, and I was very proud of defensive intensity. We dug a lot of very hard hit balls, which was very fun to watch. I was very proud of our effort and how we got after it all night. The last two sets (23-25, 23-25) could have went either way, but we will give credit to JM. They made some very good plays at the end of the match.”
On Tuesday night the Warriors beat Lewiston-Altura 3-1, 25-14, 12-25, 25-17 and 25-22.
“Coming off our weekend tournament and a tough Monday match this was a match that could have been a tough one to stay with it. We had some difficult moments with our communication and passing during the second set. The girls did a nice job of putting that behind them and pushing forward in a more positive direction,” Koepke said.
After losing the second game 25-12, the Warriors rebounded well and answered with two straight wins to take the match.
“It really showed with two real good sets of volleyball in sets four and five,” Koepke said. “Lewiston made a strong push at the end of set four, but the girls really were passing and attacking well. After hitting .097 with 37 attacking errors the night before, the girls hit our season best .292.”
On Thursday night the Warriors hosted Southland and rolled to a 25-26, 25-22 and 25-17 win over the Rebels. In the first game the Warriors pulled away midway through the game after the teams traded points. With the Warriors leading 12-11 Caledonia went on a 5-1 run to open up a 17-12 lead on a kill from Lottie Augedahl. A kill from Ashley Bichel pushed the lead to 23-15, and Caledonia won game one when the Rebels were called for a net violation for the 25-16 final.
In game two the teams again battled back and forth, this time to a 15-15 tie. But the Warriors edged ahead, this time at 24-22, and then won game two when Southland let the ball fall to the floor between three players to end the game.
In game three Caledonia took control early, going up 8-1 and then extending the lead to 15-5 on a Lottie Augedahl kill.
Southland made a bit of a run to get to 23-17, but a great point by Adrianna Reinhart, who dumped the ball over the net and caught the Rebels flat-footed, put the Warriors up 24-17.
Reinhart then dropped a bloop serve short over the net that Southland couldn’t handle to win game three 25-17 and the match 3-0.
“The girls did a great job of talking a little more, working a little extra hard, and when somebody was struggling I thought the girls did a great job of rallying and supporting each other,” Koepke said.
“I thought tonight we passed the ball really well. Adrianna is getting better every match, and the girls have been putting a lot of time in working on shots to the corners and making good shots.”
Lottie Augedahl led the Warriors with 11 kills, and Lauren Rusert and Sam Schroeder had seven more kills each. Rusert also added 14 digs.
On Monday the Warriors hosted Winona. On Thursday the team travels to Wabasha-Kellogg.