WHEATON — The West Central Area (WCA) volleyball team took top honors in Wheaton on Saturday posting a perfect record of 4-0 on the day.
In Game 1 the Knights took on Lac Qui Parle Valley edging them out 2-1 (16-25, 25-14, 15-10) for the victory.
Although WCA had a slow start in Set 1 trailing the Eagles 6-0 out of the gate the Knights were able to find their bearings and started to make plays happen near the end which carried the momentum over to Set 2 and 3. The Knights’ Madelyn Westrom and Elizabeth Rustan got on a run of serves which helped capture Game 2 and in Set 3 Rustand served seven straight to put the Knights in the lead early. Mya Foslien also had a great game with 13 kills and two ace blocks.
Stat leaders in Game 1 were Mya Foslien (13 kills, 7 digs, 2 blocks), Rustan (14/15 serving, 1 ace, 8 digs, 6 kills), Madelyn Westrom (12/13 serving, 4 aces), Macy Grosz (8/8 serving, 21 set assists, 10 digs), Halle Foslien (4 kills), Kaitlyn Hansen (7 digs) and Addison Staples (3 kills).
In Game 2 the Knights defeated the Wheaton Warriors for the first time in four years in two straight sets (25-11, 25-14) led by some solid serving by Lexi Hunter as she hit spots and kept the Warriors out of their system. Also contributing to the win was Hansen, who played some tenacious defense marked by some excellent serve receives. Great touches by WCA’s blockers kept the Warriors working to hit around the Knights’ blocks which forced them into errors.
Stat leaders in Game 2 were, Rustan (12/13 serving, 11 digs, 4 kills, 1 block), Grosz (12/12 serving, 1 ace, 10 set assists, 9 digs), Mya Foslien (4 kills, 1 block), Hunter (8/8 serving, 1 ace), Halle Foslien (1 block), Madelyn Westrom (2 set assists) and Staples (2 set assists, 1 block).
For Game 3 the Knights matched up against Mahnomen downing them in two straight 26-24, 25-23. After a short midafternoon break WCA resumed play while struggling to find their rhythm at the service line tallying up nine service errors. Hansen passed well for the Knights in the two sets especially in serve receive while outside hitters Rustan and Mya Foslien hit aggressively backed by their middles.
Stat leaders in Game 3 were Madelyn Westrom (9/11 serving, 3 aces), Rustan (8/9 serving, 10 digs, 8 kills), Grosz (6/8 serving, 1 ace, 21 set assists), Mya Foslien (7/7 serving, 8 kills, 2 blocks), Hansen (9 digs), Halle Foslien (1 block) and Sophie Sanstead (8 digs).
In the final game of the tournament for WCA they defeated Park Christian in two straight (27-26, 25-16) after digging deep in a thriller to take Set 1. In the win the Knights saw Whitney Westrom come through in some clutch plays at the net in Set 1 to help push WCA through some fatigue issues. In Set 2, Mya Foslien strung together some good, clean hits to the middle of the floor and once again the Knights were able to push through for the win under pressure.
Stat leaders for Game 4 were Mya Foslien (10/11 serving, 8 kills), Rustan (9/9 serving, 5 kills), Halle Foslien (7/9 serving, 1 block), Whitney Westrom (4/5 serving, 1 ace), Grosz (13 set assists), Madelyn Westrom (5 set assists, 6 digs), Staples (3 set assists) and Sanstead (8 digs).
“This team is coming together and learning from each other unlike any team I’ve had before. There’s only 10 of them, which makes it easier for them to play together and know each other's tendencies. I was really proud of Kaitlyn Hansen today. Her passing was right on, especially serve receive. She was automatic today. Both Whitney and Madelyn Westrom bring a level of quickness and scrappiness to the floor that we haven’t seen in our gym for a long time. Macy Grosz is our tiny quarterback and she hustles her tail off to get that second hit every time. She also led us in digs with her defense in several sets. Lexi Hunter stepped up and served well when we needed her. She does or tries everything I tell her to, she deserves props for being so coachable,” said Knights head coach Melissa Foslien. “The back row is not a glamorous position at all, but Sophie Sanstead holds her own and made some great saves! My hitters persisted and brought it today. They kept a level head when things weren’t going their way and fought to make big plays. Overall I am happy with how the girls played today. Our motto this year is ‘Win The Day,’ and I can tell these kids have a heart for the game by the way they played today. We hope to keep getting better and continue to learn what makes a great team.”
The Knights now improve to 8-0 on the season and will travel back to Wheaton Sept. 15 for a 7:30 p.m. showdown against the Wheaton Warriors.