Rebels leave it on the court in playoff loss

Published 11:17 pm Thursday, October 23, 2008

HAYFIELD — The Rebels went out with a strong effort, but came up short in a four-game loss to Kenyon/Wanamingo in the Subsection West Section 1A volleyball playoffs in Hayfield Thursday.

Southland (11-17-3 overall) lost by scores of 19-25, 25-22, 16-25, 16-25.

The best effort from the sixth-seeded Rebels came in the second game, which saw them take a 20-18 lead. Jenna Juenger had a kill and a block kill to put Southland up 23-19, and Chelsey Smith eventually ended the match by spiking home the 25th point.

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“(K/W) went up against a really strong No. 6 seed. Maybe they thought it would be a little easier than it was,” Southland head coach Angie Smith said. “We played hard and did what we needed to do, but it wasn’t enough.”

Whitney Ryan, a 6-foot senior for K/W (15-10 overall), led the Knights’ attack with 18 kills, four block kills and two aces.

“They’re a great team with a great hitter and we just couldn’t figure out our blocks. She hit around us

and they put the ball where we weren’t. They were very smart,” Smith said. “We were where we needed to be for the digs. But they were just such strong hitters and our blocking wasn’t there for us.”

The Rebels trailed by just one at 12-11 in the fourth game after a kill by Jessica Pitzen, who finished with four kills. K/W scored the next three points and Southland never got closer than three the rest of the way.

The Knights jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first and third games.

“It was tough. In the first and third game we let them get an early lead, and then we fought with them point for point,” Smith said. “Those beginnings really hurt us.”

Katie Barthels had five aces and four kills for Southland, Chelsey Smith had seven kills and one ace, Juenger had five kills, Amber O’Connell had five kills, Hilary Johnson had three kills, and Emily Howton had an ace.

No. 3 K/W will play No. 2 Hayfield in Rochester Civic Center Saturday at 1:30 p.m.