By Sam Peterson
Grant County Herald
Last week came and went fast for the Wheaton/Herman-Norcross volleyball team. The team played three matches in four days and finished with a 1-2 record. They started with a 3-1 loss to Sisseton on the road Sept. 25, then picked up a 3-0 sweep over Ashby at home the following night and capped the week off with a 3-1 loss on the road against Battle Lake Sept. 28.
Against Sisseton, three of the four sets played were highly competitive, but Sisseton stomped out any W/H-N hope with a convincing win in the fourth set.
Sisseton started the game on top after an extremely tight first set that saw the Warriors come up just two points short, 26-24.
The Warriors responded quickly and in another close set in the second, pulled off a 25-22 victory to tie the match at a set apiece.
The theme of tight sets continued in the third. This time, Sisseton did just enough to sneak away with a 25-23 win to go up 2-1.
W/H-N needed a win in the fourth to force a fifth and deciding set, but seemed to be worn out from the high level of competitiveness in the first two sets and Sisseton ran away with a 25-12 win in the fourth to secure the 3-1 win over the Warriors.
The Warriors were pretty balanced on offense, finishing with five players with at least five kills, but no players with more than eight. Sadie Vipond led the team with eight kills, Reagan Spilde added seven and Madison Koch, Hadley Berger and Claire Rinke all chipped in with five. The setting duties were also a team effort for W/H-N. Jordyn Perry led the team with 14 assists, Rinke added 12 and Mallory Peyton and Koch each had three.
At the service line, the Warriors tallied 10 aces, led by Rinke with four. Spilde helped out with three aces, Peyton added two and Grace Dawson had one.
Three players led the Warriors on defense. Peyton was all over the floor, leading the team with 32 digs. Rinke added 26 digs herself and Dawson dug out 19. At the net, W/H-N finished with five blocks from five different players; Koch, Spilde, Berger, Bria Lindquist and Rinke.
The Warriors were able to get the bad taste of the Sisseton loss out of their mouths quickly, as they turned around to play Ashby the following day. W/H-N looked like a different team against the Arrows, cruising to 3-0 sweep.
The first set of the contest was the most competitive. Ashby put up a fight until the end, but the Warriors still came away with a comfortable 25-20 win.
The second set was a lot more lopsided in favor of the Warriors. W/H-N took an early lead and never looked back, sprinting away with a 25-9 win to take a commanding 2-0 advantage.
W/H-N was never really in much danger in the third and cruised to a 25-13 win to seal the sweep.
Vipond once again was the best offensive threat for the Warriors, leading the team with eight kills. Berger chipped in with seven kills, Spilde added six, Lundquist had four and Rinke finished with three. Perry and Rinke had the majority of the assists for W/H-N, Perry led the team with 12 and Rinke added 10.
Perry also had a huge night at the service stripe, leading the squad with five aces. Dawson and Rinke both added three aces, Peyton had two and Spilde and Berger added one apiece.
On defense, there was not much attacking to defend from Ashby. Peyton led the team in digs with seven. Perry added six digs and Rinke dug out five. At the net, Lundquist finished with the team’s only block.
Battle Lake 3
Try as they might, the Warriors were unable to make it two wins in a row when they hosted Battle Lake in Barrett. The Battlers put W/H-N back in the losing column with a 3-1 win over the Warriors.
The Battlers came out of the gates early with a comfortable 25-19 win to take a 1-0 lead.
W/H-N responded quickly in the second set with a comfortable win of their own, 25-18 to tie the match 1-1.
Battle Lake had their best set of the match in the third. The Battlers grabbed an early lead and continued to grow it as the set went on. By the end, Battle Lake finished with a 25-13 win to take a 2-1 advantage.
The Warriors needed a win in the fourth set and they played like it. W/H-N went back and forth with Battle Lake, but eventually ran out of steam and fell 25-23 to end the match.
Spilde was the only Warrior to finish the match with more than five kills, leading the team with 14. Vipond and Lundquist each added five kills and Berger and Rinke each had four. Perry led the team with 19 set assists and Rinke helped out with seven.
At the service line, W/H-N finished the match with 11 aces. Dawson paced the team with three aces, Perry, Spilde and Rinke each had two and Berger and Peyton added one.
On defense, Peyton led the team with 24 digs, Spilde added 12 and Rinke dug out 10. At the net, the Warriors had two total blocks, one each from Koch and Rinke.
The Warriors took on Milbank at home Monday, October 2. The next match on the schedule for W/H-N will be at home against Brandon-Evansville Thursday, October 5.