Knights fall to Chatfield in Section 1A tourney

CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE Alexys Harwood takes care of the ball for the Knights in front of teammate Caitlin Miner during play at Chatfield last week.

CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE Ashley McNamara follows the ball in Kingsland’s match against Chatfield.

CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE Audrey Webster makes a play for the Knights in the tourney match against Chatfield.
Chad Smith

The Kingsland volleyball season came to an end in the first round of the East Sub-Section 1A tournament on Monday, Oct. 21. No. 10 seed Kingsland lost to No. 7 seed Chatfield Gophers 3-0 (18-25, 21-25, 23-25) in Chatfield.

The Knights finish their season with a record of 8-22 overall (7-7 SEC).

The Kingsland girls were on the road at Chatfield on a Monday night after just playing that same Gopher squad at a tournament in Rochester two days earlier. Chatfield won a highly competitive tournament matchup 2-1 on Saturday (26-24, 22-25, 13-15). The average margin of victory was three points for the winning team.

In the section match, Kingsland coach Amanda Siskow said the team played hard but started slower than they wanted to in the first set.

“We started the first set falling behind by around six points,” she recalled. “My first couple of servers misfired, which made things a little more challenging because it seemed like we were always trying to play catch up. The passing was also a little off on their first couple of serves, which meant we were always trying to catch up to them on the scoreboard.

“You have to be able to pass the ball. If you can’t do that, I don’t know what else you’ll have. Teams have to be able to pass the ball and serve well. You have to get the pass to the setter, and you have to get that serve over the net.”

Ellie Buchholtz led the attack with 16 kills; she was second on the team with nine digs and chipped in a block. Shelby Beck was second on the team with seven kills and added a block. Emily Miner chipped in four kills, three digs, and two ace blocks. Alyssa Link led the Knights with 28 assists. Kingsland finished the night with 31 kills.

Audrey Webster led the back row with 12 digs (1 assist) while Anika Reiland kept eight balls off the floor. Kingsland finished with 43 digs in the back row while coming up with a total of five blocks at the net.

McKenna Daniels and Zayda Priebe each had six kills for the Gophers. Teagan Allen led Chatfield with 16 assists and Devann Clemens had 12 helpers. Paige Erickson led the Gophers at the net with 3.5 blocks. Peyton Berg and Abi Hinckley each had four ace serves to lead the Gophers.

Siskow said she’s looking forward to being able to get some offseason work in with the Kingsland girls, something she was unable to do last summer.

“Absolutely,” she said emphatically. “It was tough this year because we didn’t get to do the amount of conditioning with the girls I wanted to. You really can’t get a lot of work done five days before the first game of the season.

 “Once practice got going, we were able to have just one scrimmage. I was having to choose where kids were going even though I hadn’t seen them play much. It’s a tough decision to decide who’s going to play where. A lot of the girls did much better in week two and three after they got used to where they were playing.”

The Kingsland volleyball team will say goodbye to a good group of seniors, including Kaycie Belrichard, Kaysie Vreeman, Emily Biermann, Caitlin Miner, and Hannah Peshel.