Superlarks battle for a fifth game, but fall short in tournament opener

Published 10:16 pm Thursday, October 28, 2021

GRAND MEADOW – The No. 8 seeded Grand Meadow volleyball team couldn’t cash in on a big-time performance in game four as it lost to No. 9 seeded Rushford-Peterson by scores 21-25, 25-19, 25-16, 12-25, 15-9 in a Section 1A Tournament match in GM Thursday.

The Superlarks dominated a must-win game four, but couldn’t keep pace in the fifth and final game. R-P’s Emmarie Jacobson converted an attack at the net to put R-P up 8-6 and Hannah Ronnenberg converted a back row set-attack to make it 9-6. 

Although the Superlarks had beaten Mabel-Canton, the No. 2 seed, a week ago, they weren’t able to recreate the magic on Thursday. GM head coach Sue Wilson said her team always brings its best and she liked the effort they showed against the Trojans.

“They always play with a ton of heart and they always play like they want it. They’re never unsure and they played hard tonight,” Wilson said. “I think Rushford just played a good game tonight.”

GM junior Kendyl Queensland served the first nine points of a must-win fourth game as she mixed in a pair of aces to keep the Trojans (18-11 overall) off-balanced.

“We showed a lot of fight and I think we showed a lot of teamwork,” Queensland said. “We wanted to play for each other and play for our seniors. We wanted to leave it all out there for them. River (Landers) has taught us so much this year. It is unbelievable. She’s been there every step of the way for us. All of the seniors have helped us.”

Landers finished with 14 kills and Queensland had nine kills.

After a pair of back-and-forth matches to start the night, the Trojans made a big push in the third game. R-P’s Ellyson Malone served five straight points to put her team up 16-7 and the Superlarks could only get as close as 20-14.

GM (14-12 overall) trailed game one 20-17, but scored eight of the next nine points to take it. Queensland had a kill to make it 22-21 and another kill to make it 24-21 after her sister Lauren Queensland had put down a spike to make it 23-21.

“The seniors that we’ve had this year have been amazing leaders and they really took the younger girls under their wing,” Wilson said. “The whole team worked hard together to be successful.”

GM stats: Sydney Cotten 24 digs; Kendyl Queensand 9 kills, 2 blocks, 3 aces; Anna Oehlke 7 kills, 22 digs; Emma Grafe 6 kills, 21 digs; River Landers 14 kills, 3 blocks, 2 aces; Lauren Queensland 20 digs.