The Kenyon-Wanamingo Knights certainly competed against the top ranked defending state title holders Thursday at the Excel Energy Center in St. Paul.

The Maple Lake Irish had wins of 25-19, 25-19, 25-22 and Head Coach Marty Kiebel smiled a few times because there were some long points.

I'm sure he was happy to see his team challenged a bit in the quarterfinals of the State Tournament but man did they come out of the gate strong.

5'11 senior Amber Klug started the match by serving the first five points and connecting on four aces.

Talk about a message to your opposition.

Some teams that would have been it.  Message sent.  Match pretty much over.

But the Knights did not go away and were competitive in every set with some runs in each set and leads in the second and third sets.

If you had a radar gun at the Excel Energy Center Thursday the hardest hit balls on Court 1 anyway were by 5'8 Maple Lake Senior Linsey Rachel.

Rachel had text book kill after come down on top of the ball and hammer kill to lead the Irish to the sweep.

She was the only Maple Lake player with double digit kills finishing with 18 and a blistering hitting percentage of .300.

Sophomore Ally Peterson led Kenyon-Wanamingo with 12 kills and an .073 hitting percentage.

The team hitting percentages were .193 for the Irish and .115 for the Knights.

Kenyon-Wanamingo senior setter Maddie McCauley was one of our Held Bus Service Knights of the match with a .429 hitting percentage, 16 assists and a block assist.

The others were Peterson, senior Corynne Dahl hit .250 with 8 kills was 13 of 13 on her serves.  Senior libero Sydney Way led the team in digs with 14.

Kenyon-Wanamingo Head Coach Jen Nerison was active on the sideline encouraging her team to compete against the 6'2, 6'1, 5'11 front line of the Irish.

It was simply, pardon the pun, too tall of an order.

Maple Lake finished the match with 8 ace serves and remember they started with four right out of the gate.

The Knights will play Kasson-Mantorville in an all HIawatha Valley League consolation match Friday at 5:00 p.m.

The team that does not win that match sees their season end.

Kenyon-Wanamingo at State 2017. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Kenyon-Wanamingo at State 2017. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld

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