By Becky Walz,
It came down to the wire last week as the fourth-ranked Decorah volleyball team (8-1, 1-0 NEIC) went out of state to take on Caledonia before opening the conference season with a win over Crestwood Tuesday night at home.
The Vikings never gave up in Thursday’s highly-contested match at Caledonia (1-0), falling 3-2, in sets never further apart than three points. Set scores were 22-25, 25-27, 25-23, 25-23 and 15-17.
As a squad, the Vikes had 46 kills on 178 attack attempts, 43 assists, 10 total blocks, 113 digs and was 99-for-106 at the serving line with eight aces.
Amelia Dugger slammed down nearly half of Decorah’s kills, tallying 20 in the match. Haley Gossman was busy on the court with 22 digs, eight kills, four solo blocks and a serving performance of 19-for-20 with two aces. Maddy Fromm dished out 20 assists and was 13-for-15 in serving, while Emma Wold had 16 assists and was 15-for-15 in serving. Lani Hubka and Dahlyn Headington each had 29 digs.
Stats vs. Caledonia
Kills – Amelia Dugger 20; Haley Gossman 8; Sami Mount 6; Leah Holland 5; Maddy Fromm 5; Olivia Christopher 2
Assists – Fromm 20; Emma Wold 16; Dugger 2; Dahlyn Headington 2; Lani Hubka 1; Holland 1; Gossman 1
Blocks (assist-solo) – Gossman (4-1); Dugger (1-1); Christopher (2-0); Holland (1-0)
Digs – Hubka 29; Headington 29; Gossman 22; Wold 17; Holland 9; Fromm 4; Dugger 2; Mount 1
Serving (success/attempts) – Hubka (13-14); Holland (20-21); Headington (19-21); Wold (15-15); Fromm (13-15); Gossman (19-20)
Aces – Holland 3; Headington 2; Gossman 2; Hubka 1
First NEIC battle
Jumping into conference action Tuesday night at home, the Vikes put another tally in the win column, defeating Crestwood (1-3, 0-1 NEIC) in three sets. Set scores were 25-17, 25-22 and 25-16.
“We had streaks where we played really well and then we would take a couple steps backwards. We need to work towards more consistency with our play and continue to make forward strides,” said Coach Gina Holthaus.
Unofficial stats from the match included 13 kills and four blocks by Dugger, while Gossman provided seven kills and seven digs. Leah Holland had four kills and two ace serves, while Headington had nine digs. Dishing out the assists were Fromm with 15 and Wold with 10.
Decorah will host Independence Thursday, Sept. 8, in a non-conference match, then prepare for a battle at Waverly-Shell Rock set for Tuesday, Sept. 13. Both matches are slated to begin at 7:15 p.m.