Two Danes Earn All-Tourney Honors as FVS Collects Three Wins
September 6, 2012Fountain Valley School
To start off the 2012 volleyball season, the Danes loaded up the bus and headed to Cripple Creek for the annual tournament. The Danes took on five opponents throughout the day: Elbert, Peyton, Cripple Creek, Buena Vista and CSS. They finished the day with three wins and two losses; nearly every match went three sets, and four of the matches were back-to-back, so the Danes were quite tired when it was all said and done. The tournament offered a great chance for players and coaches to see what skills the Danes already have down, what skills they need to improve, and which lineups will be most productive. Read on for a brief recap of each match.
Against Elbert, the Danes started out with very consistent play, including good swings on the attack and tough serves. Delia Brekken helped lead the charge on serving; after Elbert’s time out, she came back with an ace to show she couldn’t be shaken. Newcomers Lindsay Kopf and Mona Makkyla earned quite a few kills, while returning setter Bailey Knecht ran the offense. The team effort led to an easy win in game one, 25-11, but Elbert bounced back and played much better in the next two games. Meanwhile, the Danes started slipping into unforced errors, especially on transition, allowing Elbert to win games two and three, 17-25 and 6-15.
After a brief rest, the Danes faced off against Peyton, a familiar opponent from last season. Libero Nora Blood-Cheney played great defense and held down the back court on serve receive. Although the score was close for much of the first game, newcomer Paige Jeshcke stepped to the service line and helped the Danes surge ahead 18-14. The score got close again, but the Danes held on for a 25-22 win. This momentum carried into the start of game two, where the Danes pushed hard to the five and ten-point marks. Errors late in the game bogged down the Danes and let Peyton steal a 23-25 win, forcing game three. At this point, the Danes were determined to walk away with a win; returning players Sophie Feffer and Morgan Heath helped take the lead and finish with a 15-12 victory.
Next up in the series, the Danes took on the host school, Cripple Creek. New setter Lily Harris tried her hands at leading the offense, but her hitters struggled with unforced errors, allowing the Pioneers to stretch out their lead. Makkyla answered back with a few great blocks and serves, helping tie the score; Heath attempted to add to the score with her tough serves, but the Danes couldn’t quite hold on, losing 22-25. Game two was full of mental errors and felt slow on both sides of the net, resulting in several tie scores throughout the game, but the Danes surged ahead late and came up with a 25-20 win. Game three looked to be in the bag, but the Danes let the Pioneers get a bit too close before finishing it off, 15-13.
Eating snacks in shifts, the Danes ran back and forth between the court and the cooler before taking on Buena Vista, who will be a regular-season opponent this fall. Harris and Knecht took turns in the setting role, each working to get used to their various hitters. The score wavered back and forth throughout game one, but Heath and Knecht racked up enough aces to push the Danes to a 25-22 win. Game two started out with an ominous air; the Danes were down early 1-8 and had a tough battle ahead of them, but they rose to the challenge and managed to pull ahead 15-14. Brekken was integral to the effort with her quick swings and aggressive serves. Fans and coaches alike got nervous near the end when the score was tied at 24 and 25, but the Danes held on for a 27-25 win.
At the end of a long day, the Danes took on their cross-town rivals, the CSS Kodiaks. Game one displayed the Danes' hustle and movement on the court. Kopf picked up a few terrific passes, helping Knecht set all of her hitters and enabling a ton of great hits. The Danes finished off game one with a 25-23 win, but they seemed to use up all their energy doing so. Games two and three hardly looked like the Danes from the rest of the day; even the Kodiaks saw their opponent slipping and took advantage, racking up easy wins: 10-25 and 4-15. The Danes headed out tired and a bit disappointed but secure in the knowledge that on another, fresher day, they will give the Kodiaks a much tougher fight.
Big congratulations go to the two Danes selected for the all-tournament team: Bailey Knecht and Mona Makkyla!