By Craig Moorhead
The Caledonia Argus
Last week, Caledonia netters posted a pair of impressive 3-1 wins in their first post-season outings of the year.
Hosting Chatfield in a 1A East Subsection quarterfinal match, the Warriors defeated the Gophers 25-18, 25-10, 23-25, 25-14 on Thursday, October 24th.
“We knew this was going to be an extremely competitive match,” Caledonia head coach Scott Koepke reported. “Chatfield is very well coached. Taylor (Salisbury) just does a great job with her girls.
“They have a very big block and many strong attackers. Our girls came out very strong, but Chatfield made a huge rally in set three to take that set. I give them a lot of credit for how they dug the ball and they also served very well during the set. We’re very proud of how our girls hit the “reset” button to finish off the match. And we want to give congratulations to Chatfield on a great year.”
Caledonia’s Alexis Simpson drove home a dozen kills and dug 15 times before the home crowd. Teammate Lydia Lange totaled 15 kills and 15 digs. Haley Jennings provided 38 assists.
Two days later, it was off to the Rochester Civic Center for the semifinals. Caledonia narrowly lost the first set, then defeated Wabasha-Kellogg 21-25, 25-18, 25-11, 25-14.
“Wabasha Kellogg is another strong team with two real good outside attackers,” Koepke noted. ”Our main focus was trying to get our block in front of these two players and get our diggers in good spots.
“Wabasha came out very strong in this match and our girls were getting adjusted to the court and to the environment, which is a huge change going to the big arena at the Rochester Civic Center after playing in high school gyms during the season. We were very proud of all of our girls for adjusting to the environment.
“We hit .256 for the match which is real strong. This shows our girls were passing, setting and attacking at a high level. We also had six aces and only five receiving errors, which is the most important stat in the tournaments. You want to try to eliminate as many serve receive errors as you can and try to keep your ace totals as high as we can while still keeping the ball consistently in play. It’s a tough skill and our girls were handling this part of the game very well.
“We had only 5 serving errors which again is real strong. The W-K kids were also passing very well which can also make you press when serving. I’m very proud how our girls stayed focused at the service line. The girls really got their offense clicking in sets three and four, and it was very fun to watch. We want to give our congratulations to Wabasha-Kellogg on a great season. Michelle (Evers) really had those girls ready to play. We now have (top seed) Mabel-Canton Thursday night in the subsection finals. Thank you to everyone for your support at the match!”
Warrior Lydia Lange blasted 16 kills, dealt 3 aces, and dug 21 times. Alexis Simpson also added 16 kills to team totals, and dug 15 times. Haley Jennings set 42 assists. Alexis Schroeder got 9 digs and 2 aces.