The Spring Grove girls made a long early-morning, Sept. 25 trip north to Dassel-Cokato High School for four volleyball tournament matches, all against larger Class AA competition. The Class A Lions (9-6) dropped their first three encounters before closing the long day with a win.
The Spring Grove B-team won the championship in their bracket, taking three of four matches. The B-girls won versus Melrose 2-0 (25-18, 25-21), lost to Dassel-Cokato 1-2 (25-7, 20-25, 13-15), responded to defeat Eden Valley-Watkins 2-0 (25-17, 25-10) and in the championship match, outscored Rockford 2-0 (25-16, 25-20). Contributing to that B-team title were Izabel Kaufman, Emerson Ingvalson, Jordis Neeley, Hailey Normann, Kylie Hammel, Brinley Middendorf, Katie Klug, Kendal Van Minsel, Sydney Holland and Joelle Halverson.
Melrose 2, SG 1 (25-14, 22-25, 15-10)
With the match on the line in the extra third set, Melrose hitters came through with four kills on only five swings. The Dutchmen (7-5) outscored the Lions by 13 points overall with a 12-point advantage in kills (38-26). Melrose hit with 24% efficiency while Spring Grove lagged behind at 13%. The Lions served with a season-high 98% accuracy but scored with one ace. Addyson McHugh led Spring Grove scoring with 10 kills, 2 blocks and that lone Lion service ace.
In set one (M 25, SG 14), the Dutch broke a 6-6 tie by winning eight of the next nine points. The Lions won the second set, 25-22, with half (13) of their total kills (26). Spring Grove trailed 15-17 before sweeping four straight points to take a lead they would not relinquish. The deciding third set was tied at 9-all before Melrose came through with five late kills to close with a 6-to-1 run. After taking their tourney opener, the Dutch would drop their final three tournament matches.
Eden Valley-Watkins 2, SG 0 (25-15, 25-19)
With a 4% hitting efficiency, their second lowest in 13 matches, the Lions could not keep with the Eagles (23%). With almost the same number of attacks (SG 89, EV-W 89), Spring Grove had twice as many off-target hits (16) as did Eden-Valley-Watkins (8) and eight fewer kills (28-20). Lile, at libero, not only led the defense with 15 digs but also was the most efficient hitter (25%) with 3 kills and no errors on 12 attacks.
The Lions served with an excellent 97% accuracy, but neither team gained any scoring advantage from the service line. Grove broke even with one ace and one service error; the Eagles (92%) served three aces with four misfires.
The last Lion lead in set one came at 6-5, but Grove nursed narrow leads for much of the second set. The Eagles caught up at 14-all and then led 18-15, but the Lions came back to tie at 18-all and again at 19-all before Eden Valley-Watkins swept the final six points. The Eagles improved to 9-8 and would finish the day at 11-8.
Dassel-Cokato 2, SG 0 (29-27, 25-19)
After dropping the marathon 29-27 first set, Spring Grove unexpectedly fell behind 13-3 in set two. But the Lions did not hang their heads and fought back to fall by six (25-19). The third straight setback of the day for Grove was the third win for the home team.
The Lion efficiency at the net improved to 16% (7 kills), but the Chargers were better at 22% (29 kills) and scored 5 points with ace blocks. Again, the Grove girls were extremely accurate from the service line at 98% (46 for 47) with three aces. Dassel-Cokato served twice as many aces (6) but also gave away five points with service miscues.
During that extended first set, the score was tied 14 times. Norman assisted on a McHugh kill to put Spring Grove ahead 26-25. Exchanging roles, McHugh assisted on a kill by Normann to give the Lions their last lead at 27-26. After surviving three set points, the Chargers took the final three points with two kills and a Lion hitting error.
Norman had 20 assists while Gerard put away 9 kills and McHugh 7. Lile defended with 15 digs.
SG 2, Kimball (25-19, 25-19)
Winning both sets by identical six-point margins, the Lions used a four-point run (all Kimball errors) to break a 10-10 tie score in the first set and then left a 12-12 tie behind in the final set with a five-point spurt. The Grove girls served a sterling 98% (48 for 49) with four aces, while the Cubs served 90% with one ace.
The Lions hit with 11% efficiency with 20 kills, 12 errors. McHugh scored with 9 kills and a block while serving 100% with one ace. Gerard had twice as many kills (6) as errors and served 100%. Lydia Solum added 3 kills, and a block at the net while serving 2 aces. On defense, Lile led with 10 kills with 7 saves each from Julia Halverson and McHugh.
Spring Grove Volleyball 2021 (9-6, 5-1 SEC)
W vs. Southland 3-0
W at Lyle/Pacelli 3-0
W at Schaeffer Academy 3-0
Thur. Sept. 9 Lanesboro, postponed until Oct. 11
Tues. Sept. 14 at Houston, postponed
W vs. Glenville-Emmons 3-0
at Waukon Tournament
W vs. Central Elkader 2-0
W vs. Postville 2-0
L vs. Waukon 0-2
W vs. Crestwood 2-0
L vs. Waukon 10-2
L at Mabel-Canton 0-3
W at Grand Meadow 3-0
at Dassel-Cokato Tournament
L vs. Melrose 0-2
L vs. Eden Valley-Watkins 0-2
L vs. Dassel-Cokato 0-2
W vs. Kimball 2-0
Thur. Sept. 30 Schaeffer Academy
Tues. Oct. 5 at Lanesboro
Thur. Oct. 7 Kingsland
Tues. Oct. 12 Houston
Thur. Oct. 14 Mabel-Canton
Sat. Oct. 16 at Goodhue Tournament 9 a.m.
Mon. Oct. 18 at LeRoy-Ostrander
B-team Volleyball 2021
8-2 (5-1 SEC)
W vs Southland 2-0 (25-5, 25-13)
W at Lyle/Pacelli 2-0 (25-4, 25-8)
W at Schaefer Academy 2-0 (25-7, 25-8)
W vs. Glenville-Emmons 2-0
L at Mabel-Canton 0-2 (24-26, 22-25)
W at Grand Meadow 2-0 (25-23, 25-12
W vs. Melrose 2-0 (25-18, 25-21)
L vs. Dassel-Cokato 1-2 (25-7, 20-25, 13-15)
W vs. Eden Valley-Watkins 2-0 (25-17, 25-10)
W vs. Rockford 2-0 (25-16, 25-20)
C-team Volleyball 2021
5-1 (3-0 SEC)
W vs. Southland 2-0 (25-5, 25-13
W vs. Caledonia 2-1
W vs. Grand Meadow 3-0
L vs. Fillmore Central 1-2
W at Mabel-Canton 2-0 (26-24, 25-23)
W at Grand Meadow 2-0 (25-11, 25-22