Triton volleyball season ended by Kasson-Mantorville
It’s hard to beat the same team twice, but the Kasson-Mantorville volleyball was able to achieve that feat as they beat Triton 3-1 on Saturday, Oct. 26, to advance to the section championship match.
Triton reached the semi-finals for the first time in eight years, and Head Coach Rebecca Goossens said her team had some nerves with playing at the Mayo Civic Center.
“I think there was more excitement than anxiety, but it was a new environment and playoff game, and that always means there will be some nerves,” she said.
Meanwhile, K-M Head Coach Adam VanOort said his girls had a better performance on the bigger stage than they did in the previous round.
“No, the girls actually played with more confidence against Triton at MCC than they did at home versus Pine Island in the first round,” he said.
The KoMets’ increased confidence was apparent as they came out with a lot of energy and won the first set 25-10 and the second set 25-13.
He said the girl’s serving was the key to winning those first two sets.
“I thought we served aggressively and kept them out of system on offense,” VanOort said.
On the other side, Goossens said the Cobras struggled with their hitting in the first two sets.
“I don’t think KM’s block really posed a major problem to us, we actually struggled with our hitting rather than getting blocked. (We hit negative in sets one and two and barely cleared even in set four—mostly hitting tape/out rather than getting blocked),” she said. “As far as their serve goes, they had about six aces in the first set, but after that, they were limited to three or less.”
The Cobras rebounded in the third set and they won a tightly-contested set 25-23 to force a fourth set.
“In our third set, we finally reduced our unforced errors and starting hitting the ball in. Instead of hitting negative, we hit roughly .345. Instead of communication errors, we played a clean game,” she said. “We were passing well - both in terms of defense and serve receive, especially compared to the last time we faced K-M.”
At the same time, VanOort said the KoMets had a hard time with their serving and passing.
“We didn’t serve very well and our passing broke down a bit,” he said.
However, in the fourth set, he said, “our serving and passing got back on track.”
The KoMets’ improved serving and passing helped them win the fourth set 25-16.
Despite the loss, Goossens was proud of how her team performed, especially compared to their first match against Kasson-Mantorville.
“We passed better than the last time we played KM. This allowed us to actually run an offense against them. I also thing we defended better—we had a lot of balls that we got up versus KM getting a straight kill. There were some nice, long rallies in there as well where we really played with them,” she said.
VanOort mentioned that he didn’t remember much from the first time K-M played Triton, but “they are an athletic team and they were definitely a worthy opponent,” he said.
He said the KoMets will have to work on their serving, passing, and defense to prepare for Cannon Falls, their opponent in the section championship at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, at Mayo Civic Arena.
Even though Triton won’t be advancing to that section championship game, Goossens is proud of her team’s success this year.
“I’m super proud of our season—the best one we’ve had in 8 years,” she said. “I believe my tweet captured a lot of my feelings: “What. A. Season. It’s hard to see it end— for the players, the coaches, the fans, the community. Together, #WeAreTriton, & together, we did great things. To our seniors especially: We’re so proud of how you’ve led this program and the legacy you’ve built. Once a Cobra, always a Cobra.”
Triton Stats: Chelsea Lasker: 2 aces, 23 assists, 8 digs, Brenna Essig: 8 kills, 6 digs, Ella Johnson: 2 kills, 1 block, Chloe Staub: 4 kills, 2 blocks, 3 digs, Isabel Valdez: 10 kills, 1 ace, 6 blocks, 3 digs, McKenna Freerksen: 2 aces, 1 dig, Kendra Petersohn: 1 ace, 12 digs, Samantha Hallaway: 12 digs, and Sydney Gilliland: 6 digs.