“A signature win for our program,” said assistant coach Travis Malley, after the Falcons had just beaten, then No. 1 ranked, Southwest Christian in the Class A Showcase volleyball tourney Friday and Saturday in the Twin Cities.
“It was just great to be invited to the tournament,” said head coach Denise Case, “and play teams ranked in the state. But to win the tournament, I couldn’t be more proud of them. I’ve told them that individuals can win games, but it takes a team to win championships and they played like a team this weekend. They just played impressive volleyball all weekend.”
They were playing so impressive, that midway through the semi-final match with Southwest Christian (ranked No. 1) fans started moving in and taking notice of the Falcons’ play. Following the win over Win-E-Mac (No. 4), a fan I was visiting with, told me…now that we know who you are, we’ll be keeping an eye on you! As is every other team in the state!
The gals went 6-0 in the two-day tournament, 3-0 in pool play on Friday, and another 3-0 on Saturday in the championship tournament. Friday they got wins over Mayer Lutheran (24-26, 25-16), Dawson-Boyd (25-16, 25-15), and Nevis (25-22, 25-14). Mayer Lutheran (Honorable Mention) and Nevis (No. 7) have received votes in the state poll.
Saturday, the run continued with wins over No. 10 Tracy-Milroy-Balaton (25-18, 22-25, 15-9), No. 1 Southwest Christian (28-26, 25-18) and No. 4 Win-E-Mac (25-11, 25-18).
The impressive team play, as noted by coach Case, included 92.1 percent serving (292/317), 2.0 ace serves/set, 94.9 percent serve receiving (204/215), .322 hitting (162 kills, 43 errors, 369 attacks), 12.5 kills/set, 11.3 set assists/set, 2.54 ace blocks/set, and 15.7 digs/set.
The reward for the outstanding play, and winning the tournament, resulted in a No. 1 ranking for the Falcons in the Minnesota Coaches poll, which was revealed this past Monday. Special note was also made of this accomplishment by KTTC sports director Pat Lund in his Monday night sports broadcast.
Individually, three players made the all-tournament team for their outstanding play: Taylor Case, Tori Peterson and Morgan Malley. In addition, Case was selected as the Class A Showcase Tournament MVP.
Here are some of the individual stats for the Fillmore Central players, from the Showcase Tournament…
Serving (ace serves): Case, 51/52 (4); Peterson 51/55 (8); Malley 32/33 (3); Tayah Barnes, 16/16; Larissa Armstrong, 59/66 (5); Sammi Bakke, 35/39 (3); and Sarah Schultz, 48/56 (3).
Serve receive: Case, 62/63; Peterson, 32/36; Barnes, 7/7; Armstrong, 33/36; Bakke, 2/2; Schultz, 68/71.
Kills (hitting): Case, 50 (.444); Peterson, 37 (.259); Malley, 19 (.381); Scheevel, 23 (.304); Bakke, 16 (.333); Aug, 13 (.158).
Set assists: Malley, 139.
Ace blocks: Case, 3; Peterson, 5; Malley, 4; Scheevel, 8; Bakke, 11; Aug, 2.
Digs: Case, 58; Peterson, 18; Malley, 28; Scheevel, 5; Barnes, 7; Armstrong, 23; Bakke, 11; Aug, 10; and Schultz, 44.
Fillmore Central also got a pair of Three Rivers Conference wins over Southland (3-0; 25-9, 25-4, 25-11) and St. Charles (3-0; 25-10, 25-5, 25-13).
In the win over Southland, the team was a perfect 71/71 in serving. Barnes and Armstrong were 20/20, and had two and three ace serves, respectively. Kill leaders against the Rebels were Case (10), Scheevel (10), Peterson (7) and Bakk(7). Malley, set leader with 21 assists, also had five kills and a hitting efficiency of .833. Scheevel led the team with 1.5 ace blocks. Dig leaders were Malley (9) and Armstrong (7).
Peterson and Scheevel, each with 11, were the kill leaders against the Saints. Peterson’s hitting efficiency was .611, no errors, and Scheevel hit .476 (one error). Aug had her best hitting match of the season with seven kills, no errors, and a hitting efficiency of .538. Case added eight kills in the sweep win over St. Charles. Malley had 33 of the team’s 35 set assists. Serving leaders were Case (17/17), Tayah Barnes (7/7), Bakke (20/21), Schultz (9/9) and Armstrong (2/2). Case was 9/9 in SR.
This week the girls have matches at Kingsland (Tuesday) and Rushford-Peterson (Thursday). Monday the gals are back home with the make-up match against Lanesboro. PHOTO BY BILL BENTSON/BLUFF COUNTRY NEWSPAPER GROUP