Tenacious Knights take down No. 3 Rebels, No. 4 Raiders in weekend tourney
The 3A No. 9 Union Knights girls volleyball team played with fierce tenacity during last Saturday’s tournament at North Tama by taking down the 1A No. 3 Gladbrook-Reinbeck Rebels, 2-0, in their opening match-up.
The Knights rode that high all the way to the Championship bracket – placing first in their pool by dispatching both AGWSR, 2-0, and 1A No. 4 Dunkerton, 2-1, along the way. But after a grueling day of play, the Knights were ultimately defeated, 2-0, by the tournament champs – 2A No. 12 Grundy Center who went on to take down the powerhouse No. 1 North Tama in a surprising upset for the tournament title.
Against the G-R Rebels across two sets (21-19, 21-17), senior Aubrey Gates was the offensive leader for the Knights with eight kills out of 19 attempts, six successful serves out of eight attempts, and one ace. Sophomore setter Avery Knoop was also instrumental to the Union offense with 18 assists, nine successful serves out of 10 attempts, and two aces.
Junior Gracie Klima was a key offensive player as well with eight kills out of 16 attempts and six out of six successful serves. Freshman Regan Glenn had a near-perfect serving game with seven out of eight successful plus one ace, while senior Jaidyn Bush had a perfect serving game with seven out of seven and an ace. The Knights finished the match with G-R with a more than 90 percent serve efficiency.
On defense, Bush led the team with five digs, one block, and one block assist while Knoop contributed four digs, and Klima notched three digs.
Offensive and defensive leaders for the Knights in the semifinal loss to Grundy Center fell along similar lines with Knoop, Klima, Gates, and Bush notching high numbers.
After facing Sumner-Fredericksburg on the road on Tuesday, the Knights will receive a brief breather before heading to Parkersburg for a triangular with A-P and South Hardin on Sept. 13, followed by the Wildcat Volleyball Tournament in Janesville on Saturday, Sept. 17 where the Knights will again face Grundy Center.
The Knights were 12-1 on the season heading into the week of Sept. 5.