By Craig Moorhead
The Caledonia Argus
Caledonia netters opened post-season play last week, as the Section 1AA Volleyball Tournament took center stage. The third-seeded Warriors got to host their first tournament match-up, when No. 14 La Crescent visited Caledonia on Thursday, October 28. Caledonia won that match 3-0 (25-10, 25-20, 25-17).
Outside hitter Logan Koepke scored 16 kills and provided 16 digs. Libero/defensive specialist Emme Kittleson added 10 digs and a pair of aces to team totals. Middle hitter Sadie Treptow recorded 7 kills and 3 blocks. Setter Jovial King got 24 assists, and served up 3 aces. Outside hitter Brianna Stemper scored 3 kills and got 10 digs. Middle hitter Grace Myhre got 5 kills, 3 blocks. Middle hitter Paige Klug added 5 kills and 2 blocks, while setter Emma Rommes provided 10 assists and scored 3 kills.
Lancer Abbi Ernster scored 4 kills. Teammate Kennedy Hill also scored 4 times, and provided 4 digs.
“First of all we want to give a huge congratulations to La Crescent,” coach Scott Koepke said after the contest. “We were real proud of our girls with the energy that they brought both on and off the court. All the girls were supporting each other and working hard. We had nine serving aces and only five errors and our serve receive rating was 2.15, which means we were in system running offense quite a bit in this match. We also ran some real good middle.”
Two days later, Caledonia took on No. 6 Chatfield in quarterfinals action at the Mayo Civic Center Arena. The Warriors won that match in straight sets, 25-20, 26-24, 25-21. The Gophers traded points throughout a tightly-contested second set with the Warriors, and led 9-4 in the final set before Caledonia launched a 10-point scoring run, giving the Warriors a lead they would not relinquish.
Logan Koepke led all scorers with 15 kills, 21 digs. Brianna Stemper scored 8 kills, and got 10 digs. Paige Klug scored 7 kills, and dealt a pair of aces while placing all 19 serves in-bounds. Grace Myhre scored 6 kills. Sadie Treptow got 4 blocks and 4 kills. Emme Kittleson served 2 aces and got 8 digs. Emma Rommes provided 18 assists.
Chatfield’s Zayda Priebe got 11 kills, 4 digs, and 2 aces for the Gophers. The Warriors are now 22-8 overall for the season.
“Again a huge congratulations to Chatfield in their team on a great season!” Koepke said. “They have a real strong volleyball team and program and they played a great match. This was the first time a lot of these kids from all over the section were up in Rochester playing. Due to COVID last year there’s a lot of kids who didn’t get on the floor, and it’s a different environment.
“We were real proud of our girls, how they hung together through some tough stretches. Again just super proud of our girls for the energy that they brought from the bench and on the floor. Our next opponent - Zumbrota Mazeppa - will be a big challenge. They have a lot of strong hitters and they are just a real strong team. We want to thank everyone for coming out and supporting the girls on both of these nights. It really was fun to see everybody come out and watch the girls in Caledonia and in Rochester. We just want to thank everyone so much for the support.”
With the win, Caledonia advanced to the semifinals and, as noted above, will face the No. 2 seeded Z-M Cougars. The match begins at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 4 at Mayo Arena. The winner of that contest will play in the Section finals at the same venue on November 6 at 12:00 p.m. The 2021 Minnesota State Volleyball Tournament (all classes) will take place November 10-13, 2021 at the Excel Energy Center in St. Paul. The Class AA quarterfinals are scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 11.