The Union Knights Volleyball team had a great day at the South Tama Volleyball Tournament. The Knights earned a hard earned championship by defeating the hosts from South Tama in a tight three game final. The day did not start well for the Knights, as South Tama would defeat Union 2-1 in the first round of Pool Play by the scores of 22-20, 16-21, and 8-15. The loss would snap Union's 7 match winning streak they held entering the tournament. Next up, Union would defeat East Marshall in two games by the scores of 21-14 and 21-9. Sara Jesse would run off the last 7 straight points serving in game two during the Union win. In the final round of pool play, Union would take on a dangerous Sumner-Fredricksburg team that was also 1-1 in pool play action. The winner of this match would advance to tournament play, while the losing team would be heading home. The Knights would come away with a hard fought 2-0 win by the scores of 21-15 and 21-19.
The Knights would show an improved serve receive passing game, and hit at an impressive .459 hitting effiency for the match. Ashley Hager would lead Union with 8 kills and an efficiency rating of .583. Megan Clark and Tori Zempel would lead the defense on serve receive, and Casey Barney would tally 8 digs. In semi-final action, Union would take on Grinnell, who came out of Pool 2 in first place with a 3-0 match record. Union would continue to look sharp, and come away with a 2-1 match win. The Knights would ride thestrong right arm of Ashley Hager who would rack up 14 kills. Sara Jesse would dish out 28 assists from her setters position. After splitting the first two games with Grinnell, the Knights looked to be in trouble in game 3, trailing 7-3 halfway through the final game. The Knights would then storm back behind the serving of Sara Jesse who would run off 5 straight points to give Union a 9-8 lead. The Knights would finish strong with a Casey
Barney kill to defeat Grinnell 15-10 in game 3. The Knights would then get a rematch with South Tama in the finals, who defeated North Tama in the other semi-final match. Union would get some revenge on South Tama, winning the championship match 2-1. The Knights would lead throughout game 1, and hold on to win 25-22. Game 2 would see Union again take an early lead, but South Tama was able to fight back and win a very tight 26-24 game. In game 3, the Knights were able to open up a 10-5 lead behind the serving of Sara Jesse and the frontrow hitting of Junior Mary Wrage. Thepair of Jesse and Wrage would team up with 3 straight kills during the 4 point Union run. Ashley Hager would send everyone home with a big kill from her strongside hitting spot to secure a 15-11 Union win. "I can't say enough about how happy I am with the girls today. We certainly didn't start the dayplaying our best volleyball of the year, but they hung together and kept playing
better and better throughout the rest of the day. Everyone really contributed throughout the day. Mary Wrage had her best day so far in varsity volleyball. She saved her best for last getting 10 kills in the finals against a very big frontline from South Tama. Ashley Hager continues to do a great job for us. She has had 98 kills in the past week, and she is really on a roll. Tori Zempel had a very solid day from her Libero position, and had her best day of the year with her serve receive passing. I know the girls were tired because of all the homecoming events on Friday night, but we refused to use it as an excuse.I am very proud of there efforts, and determination today."