Lady Trojans kick off volleyball season


The Rushford-Peterson Trojan volleyball team played their season opener Thursday, Aug. 29. The team fell in three games to visiting Wabasha-Kellogg. Pictured above are Isabelle Kahoun (5) and Kaylee Ruberg (13) blocking a hit from Falcon Chloe Evers.
By : 
Scott Bestul

The Rushford-Peterson volleyball team hit the ground running last week. After kicking off the season with a home game, the Lady Trojans suited up for a tournament at Mabel-Canton just two days later.

R-P vs. Wabasha-Kellogg

The R-P volleyball season started with a home game and, according to coach Nicole Schultz, “a little bit of stage fright.” The Lady Trojans dropped all three games to the visiting Wabasha-Kellogg Falcons. “W-K is good,” Schultz said. “They’re always good. They’ve got tough servers, and they were able to close out games. We have plenty of talent, but I could tell the girls were nervous. Our communication wasn’t the best, and we struggled with consistency, especially in attacks and setting.”

In all three games, R-P matched up well with the Falcons early, then struggled enough in the middle of the match to give W-K a chance to pull away. The first game was the most indicative of the nerves that plagued the Lady Trojans, as W-K pulled off a 25-14 victory. R-P tightened things up in the follow-up match, but eventually succumbed 25-17. The final match was a thriller, with R-P threatening a victory. But the Lady Falcons didn’t lose their cool and came from behind to snatch a 26-24 win.

In individual offensive stats, Kaleah Davis led the team in kills with eight. Freshman Kaylee Ruberg was next with four, Elly Malone and Alora Wilkemeyer each contributed a pair of kills, and Isabelle Kahoun chipped in a single. Kahoun was the only R-P player credited with an ace, and she served a pair.

Defensively, Ruberg led R-P with a pair of blocks. Wilkemeyer and Davis were each credited with 1.5 blocks, and Lakyn Rasmussen earned a single. Junior libero Alyvia Eide came up with 17 digs, Rasmussen contributed 10, and Malone added seven. Digs were also recorded for Kahoun (6), Hailey Jenkins (3) Davis (2) and Ruberg (1).

Despite the rough start, Schultz was positive. “We definitely have great athletes, and Alyvia (Eide) did a good job of staying positive and encouraging her teammates. You know you’re always going to be getting some kinks out in that first match. The girls just need to stay focused and have fun at the same time. Then they’ll hit their stride.”

Mabel Canton Tournament

The Lady Trojans didn’t have much down time after the opener, as they traveled to Mabel-Canton Sat, Aug 31, for a tournament. R-P finished fourth in the seven-team field. M-C topped all comers to their gym, triumphing over Spring Grove in the championship match.

R-P fell twice to Grand Meadow (12-25, 18-25), topped Houston twice (25-14, 25-9), then battled hard with Spring Grove in a pair of losses (22-25, 21-25).  The Lady Trojans made Grand Meadow work a little harder in a rematch, but fell again to the Superlarks (21-25, 13-25). R-P then topped Lanesboro by splitting a pair of games (25-17, 20-25), before falling to the host M-C squad (10-25, 10-25). The day ended with another split, this time with Kingsland (25-16, 22-25), but the Lady Trojans were credited with the victory.

In individual offensive stats, Ruberg led all R-P servers with 12 aces on the day, and Rasmussen wasn’t far behind with ten. Also credited with ace serves were Kahoun (6), Jenkins (5), Davis (5) and Eide (4). Davis racked up 28 kills for the tourney to lead the Lady Trojans. Also in double-digits for kills were Ruberg (18), Malone (13) and Wilkemeyer (12). Rasmussen was credited for seven kills, while Kahoun and Hannah Ronnenberg each had two.

Defensively, Wilkemeyer led R-P with five blocks on the day, while Ruberg added three blocks and Davis contributed two. Eide had her usual busy day of defensive play, scrambling for 75 digs. Rasmussen also played aggressive defense, with 40 digs credited. Other top defenders were Kahoun (26 digs) Jenkins (25), Jacobson (16), Ruberg (14), Ronnenberg (14), Malone (10), Davis (9), Helgemoe (6), and Wilkemeyer (5).

Schultz was satisfied with the team’s finish, but again stressed the need for better consistency and communication. “We also had an injury in the tournament,” Schultz said. “Lakyn (Rasmussen) had a severe bruise on her hand and will probably sit out a week. We’ve got a young team – I start two freshmen and a sophomore – so our younger players will get tested this year.”

Schedule

The Lady Trojans hosted Chatfield Tuesday, Sept. 3, and will travel to La Crescent-Hokah Sept. 5. Look for the results of those matches in our next issue.