By Sam Peterson
Grant County Herald
Both matches the Knights played in last week were both sweeps, one was good and the other was not so good. The Knights started the week with a 3-0 sweep over the Benson Braves on the road on Tuesday, September 12. Just two days later, WCA took on No. 9 BOLD, where the sweep was in the other direction with the Warriors beating the Knights 3-0. The Knights were led by Mya Foslien, who finished the two matches with 28 combined kills.
It was something of a homecoming for Knight head coach Melissa Foslien as she returned to the very same gymnasium she used to play in at Benson. There was no better way for her to leave that familiar place than with a sweep victory over her alma mater.
The Knights started the match a little sluggish, allowing the Braves to hang around. But not long into the first set, WCA found their groove and cruised their way to a 25-18 win over Benson. “It took a little while for the Knights to find some rhythm and there were times where we let the Braves sneak back close, but as we gained some confidence on the court, we didn’t really look back,” coach Foslien said.
The Knights continued to play better and better as the match went on. They earned a 25-16 win over Benson in the second set and blew out the Braves in the third set 25-11 to complete the sweep.
Mya Foslien led the team at the net with 14 total kills. Jaclynn Nelson also played well in the middle and recorded nine kills. “Jaclynn Nelson played very well in the middle and proved that even though she’s a freshman, she has some serious game,” coach Foslien said.
Macy Grosz finished with all but one of the team’s assists, ending with 36.
The Knights also had a good night of serving, finishing with six aces, two each from Grosz, Foslien and Izzy Puchalski. “We had some long serving runs by several players and it was just a nice conference win for us,” coach Foslien said.
On defense, Mya Foslien and Madelyn Westrom were all over the floor and led the team with 17 digs apiece. Puchalski chipped in with nine digs and Grosz and Whitney Westrom each dug out eight. At the net, the Knights finished with five blocks, led by Puchalski with two.
After sweeping Benson on the road, the Knights had a tough team on their schedule next. WCA went on the road to Bird Island-Olivia-Lake Lillian District to play the Warriors, who were ranked as the No. 9 team in Class A. BOLD was just coming off beating a talented Sauk Centre team in four sets. “We knew that they were going to be very strong, tall and tough,” coach Melissa Foslien said.
Despite the form the Warriors were in at the time, the Knights did give them a few scares throughout the match. BOLD came away with a 25-21 win in the first set, playing from in front for the whole set.
In the second and third sets, WCA actually held four point leads in both, but thanks to service runs from BOLD, the Warriors came back to win the second set 25-22 and the third set 25-20. “Their outside hitters were super aggressive and we did our best to try to get touches and defend them. I am pleased with our effort. We can get better and we know what we need to work on,” coach Foslien said.
On offense, Mya Foslien led the team with 14 kills and Fagre was the only other player to finish with more than four, tallying seven kills. Grosz took setting duties for the Knights and finished with 26 of the team’s 27 assists. On the service line, WCA finished with three aces, two from Groz and one from Puchalski.
On defense, the Knights had three players in double figure digs. Madelyn Westrom led the team with 18 digs, Mya Foslien chipped in with 15 and Whitney Westrom added 11. At the net, the Knights had seven blocks, three from Mya Foslien and Fagre and one from Whitney Westrom.
The Knights were back in action on the road against Melrose Tuesday, September 19 and will host Sauk Centre in Barrett Thursday, September 21.