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Knights swept by Wolverines to dash title hopes

October 10, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor (editor@dysartreporter.com) , Dysart Reporter

After finishing 1-4 in tournament play at Waverly on Saturday, Union volleyball saw their window of opportunity for a conference title close as Dike-New Hartford swept the Knights 25-21, 25-20 and 25-15 in La Porte City.

NICL East title aspirations were on the line in this match as Union came in 6-0, Dike-New Hartford 5-0 in conference play. Though the Knights would stay close throughout the opening set, hitting errors out of the back row killed any momentum in Union's favor. The Knights would hold several slim leads in the second set, yet the serving and serve-receive by the Wolverines proved to be the tip of the scale.

"We have to get better in both of those areas if we want to compete with teams like this," coach Brian Jesse said. "We need to serve more aggressive, which we didn't keep them out of system. We have a lot of matches to go before we potentially need to worry about them again."

Article Photos

Sophie Winkelpleck attempts a hit over a Dike-New Hartford player in a 3-0 loss to the Wolverines on Tuesday, Oct. 8.

Little went Union's way in the third set as the Wolverines came out strong and sharp to maintain an early lead. As Sophie Winkelpleck reflected on the loss, she realized that much was left to be desired on the court.

"We got outplayed tonight," Winkelpleck said. "Dike out-served and passed better than us and that's ultimately what it came down to for the win. We've got to come back out in practice and want it more. If we face them again, we need to learn from our mistakes. This match will be helpful in the long run."

The loss marks the fifth match in a row the Knights have lost. Union fell to Mount Vernon twice, Beckman and Osage in tournament play in Waverly over the weekend.

"It's honestly been discouraging losing five matches in a row, but all great teams give everything they've got in the postseason," Winkelpleck said. "We learned last year your record doesn't matter."

Regional pairings were announced during the evening, with Union drawing Columbus in La Porte City on Wednesday, Oct. 23. The two NICL rivals had faced off in Waterloo late in September as the Knights swept the Sailors. However, Jesse cautions this game is not a "gimme by any means."

"This is a tough draw for us and we're going to concentrate on getting better over these next two weekends," Jesse said. "Like I told the girls, we need to clean up some things and play tougher teams better. We want to beat these teams we play with for the most part."

Belle Weber led the Knights with 16 kills in the loss, followed by Jasmyn Bush with 11 kills and Allie Driscol with two kills.

"I felt Belle had one of her best hitting nights since she's been with us," Jesse said. "She's really snapping the ball. When she swings like that, good things happen. [Dike] had a hard time with us when we played quick. Our blocking is not good right now. Those are things we need to figure out."

Union will compete in a tournament at Clear Creek Amana on Saturday, returning home on Tuesday for senior night against Wapsie Valley to conclude conference play. The Knights are 18-9 as of publication.

 
 

 

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