It was more weekend action for the Class 5A fourth-ranked Waukee High School volleyball team as they took to Valley High School Saturday, Sep. 7.
The Warriors were involved in a five-game stint that included match-ups against second-ranked Ankeny, fifth-ranked Dowling Catholic, Fort Dodge, Des Moines Lincoln, and third-ranked West Des Moines Valley. Waukee went 3-2 on the day with wins over Dowling, Lincoln, and Fort Dodge while falling to Ankeny and Valley. To some, it may have seemed like near insurmountable odds but to the Warriors and head coach Danielle Lynch, it was just the challenging tests they needed.
“It’s just like the old saying goes, to be the best you need to beat the best,” began Lynch. “The most growth that a team will have will come early on and what better way to grow than with teams who we’ve seen at state last year and could very well make it back this year.”
Overall the Warriors had a more than solid five-game outing where they averaged nearly 17 kills and 25 digs per match. They were solid from the serving line with 205 successful serves out of 222 attempts.
One match that was exceptionally well was with a fellow ranked team in Dowling Catholic. It took three sets to achieve, but the Warriors captured the win. Set one was a quick start and an even quicker finish in a 21-11 set one victory. They received a steady dose of offense from the Lady Maroons in a 21-18 set two loss but overcame that with another strong set to capture the match with a 15-9 set three win. Senior Lily Becker posted 18 assists for the match while junior Layanna Green captured 13 successful serves.
The same outcome came with the Des Moines Lincoln match-up. There was no stopping the Warriors in their 21-7 set one win. Lincoln tried their best by winning set two 21-18 but it was a late pull away in set three that punched another winning ticket for Waukee. It was another strong performance from Layanna Green who produced seven kills, three digs, and a team match best three aces.
Fort Dodge rounded out the wins for the Warriors as they did so in two sets 21-11 and 21-5. The two losses for Waukee were tough and close. Perhaps the toughest match of the day was against second-ranked Ankeny where they fell in two sets 21-18 and 21-15. The Warriors managed just 13 kills which marked a tournament-low for Waukee. In perhaps one of the more calendar circling matches, Waukee also took on Valley in a closely contested three-set loss. Waukee did post tournament highs in kills (27) and assists (27) and used most of them to overcome a 21-10 set one loss and post a 21-18 set two victory. The downfall for the Warriors, however, was falling in set three by a 15-9 final.
Following the tournament multi-year starter and senior Kate Nelson leads the team with 108 kills while junior Layanna Green not only leads the team with 17 aces but also a team-high 28 blocks. Fellow junior Kori Knox paces the team in digs with 110 on the books while Lily Becker is the top Warrior when it comes to assists with 302.
Up next for the Warrior girls will be another home match-up as they welcome in Des Moines North for a one-on-one contest. Waukee will be searching for their 12th win of the season. That will occure when the match kicks off at 6:30 p.m. from the Waukee Field House.