Belle Plaine Volleyball Pounces on Kenyon-Wanamingo
The #6 Class 2A Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association ranked Belle Plaine Tigers swept the #8 rated Kenyon-Wanamingo Knights Saturday night. The Knights were going for their third straight Section title. Belle Plaine crushed Kenyon-Wanamingo 25-5 in the first set and won the next two sets 25-19, 25-21.
Belle Plaine obviously saw what a lot of people witnessed in the South Subsection final between Kenyon-Wanamingo and St. Peter on Thursday night in New Prague. A dominant Knights performance. That fueled their focus to not let the same thing happen to them. In the first set the Tigers had 14 kills and two hitting errors while Kenyon-Wanamingo managed 3 kills and 4 hitting errors by my unofficial statistics.
Simply put, Belle Plaine had their A game and Kenyon-Wanamingo did not in that first set.
Belle Plaine 5'9 junior Mikayla Coops had 6 of the Tigers kills and a solo block in the impressive first set. In the win over St. Peter the Knights stuffed nearly every hit from the middle. Belle Plaine attacked from the outside and the athletic Coops got most of her swings around the attack line.
In volleyball each set starts at 0 so Kenyon-Wanamingo hoped to even the match with a second set win. It appeared they might until some errors crept in. I counted ten errors against the Knights in the second set compared to 4 by the Tigers in the 25-19 Belle Plaine win. Kenyon-Wanamingo made a nice adjustment to claim 5 blocks in the second set, but 5'10 Morgan Kruger had 6 kills and no hitting errors for the Tigers.
Belle Plaine 5'7 sophomore libero Sarah Lenz was a difference maker handling scalding hits by Knights Ally Peterson and Julianna Boyum repeatedly to extend points until her team could score. Kenyon-Wanamingo also struggled in the serve receive department with Belle Plaine achieving 9 aces.
Peterson led the Knights with 10 kills, Boyum had 8 kills and 5'10 junior Megan Mattson finished with 5 according to my unofficial statistics.
Cooper had 14 kills and Kruger 13 kills to lead the Tigers attack.
Our Held Bus Service Knights of the match were the three seniors on the Kenyon-Wanamingo team, libero Kasandra Keller, back row specialist Kaitlyn Vold and right side hitter Chelsea Gilster.
It was another very successful season for Kenyon-Wanamingo against some very good competition. There are a lot of Class 2A teams that would love to finish their year 24-9 with all their losses coming against state ranked teams or Class 3A squads.
Outside the front doors to the gym at Mankato East High School I told some of the girls they had a super season.