KoMets finish fourth at state tournament
The end of a season can be a bittersweet time for most teams. When the smoke clears from weeks of playoff competition, there’s only one team that gets to end their season with a victory while others are left to reflect on something they could have done differently or what progress they had made throughout the season.
As every season comes to a close, some endings are sweeter than others. In the case of the Kasson-Mantorville volleyball team, they don’t have much to hang their head at after finishing fourth in the Class AA State Tournament last weekend.
“I think that the team had a great experience up at the Xcel Energy Center,” K-M volleyball coach Adam VanOort said of the state tournament. “They gave an excellent effort in every match.”
The KoMets’ journey to state has been one that has seen dominance and resiliency during the section tournament and both were on display in St. Paul. K-M opened their tournament with a quarterfinal matchup against Hermantown where they looked every part of a team that had survived the Section 1AA gauntlet the past two weeks.
While this would be a complete effort by the KoMets, sophomore Peyton Suess showed why she was selected as an All-State honorable mention and Class AA All-Tournament Team registering 21 kills in the match. By comparison, Hermantown would rack up 33 kills as a team in what would be a three-set (25-18, 25-18, 25-19) sweep to advance to the state semifinals.
That matchup would provide another tough test for the KoMets as they faced the second-ranked team in the state in Maple Lake. K-M would open things on the right foot with a 25-23 win in the opening set, but couldn’t find its footing as the match went along.
Linsey Rachel was a problem for the KoMets with 20 kills of her own for the Fighting Irish, which neutralized 17 kills from Suess. The balance of Maple Lake became another issue as Emilee Terry and Jesse Riker followed up with just five kills a piece as K-M fell in the next three sets (25-19, 25-17, 25-15) to dash their hopes of a state championship.
Although the KoMets couldn’t reach their goal of reaching the state final, they still were able to have the All-HVL matchup that they wanted when they faced Kenyon-Wanamingo in the third place game on Saturday afternoon.
Facing a team that hadn’t lost two sets in a match all season before falling to Concordia the night before, K-M was able to hold its own marching to late leads in the first and second sets. However, the Knights showed off their own resiliency, as they were able to pick up a 28-26 win in the first set and a 25-23 win in the second set.
While Abbey Bigelow was setting teammates up with 26 assists in the match, the Knights’ talent was too much to overcome, as K-M couldn’t avoid a sweep after falling 25-14 in the third set.
“I think they came away happy with the way they were able to compete with Maple Lake and Kenyon-Wanamingo,” VanOort offered. “They were the two top ranked teams in the state and they had both beaten us badly in matches that weren’t competitive earlier in the year.”
A fourth-place finish could have been viewed a little disappointing; the KoMets still ac