Warrior volleyball drops three in weekend tournament

Andrew Brown
Dallas County News
Waukee's Kori Knox dives for a ball in the Valley tournament on Saturday, Sept. 5 against Dowling Catholic.

Before the holiday came about, the Waukee High School volleyball team took the short drive to West Des Moines Valley High School on Saturday, Sept. 5. 

It was a four-team endeavor and included a grueling slate of teams such as Class 5A's top-ranked Valley, fifth-ranked Dowling Catholic and eighth-ranked Ankeny. That was the slate that seventh-ranked Waukee had to go through. Unfortunately, the Warriors didn't walk away with a match victory, falling in all three contests. 

Their first battle was perhaps their toughest test of the day against host West Des Moines Valley. It was tough sledding against the Tigers, falling 25-12 and 25-19 in two sets. In a rare instance, no Warrior recorded an ace in the contest while the team as a whole suffered a season-low in assists with nine for the contest. Waukee posted 11 kills with just four kill errors to note for the contest.

Waukee senior Layanna Green plays against Dowling Catholic Saturday, Sept. 5 during the Valley tournament.

In terms of successful serve attempts on the day, the battle against the Tigers held the most for Waukee with 28 out of 32 total attempts. Senior Sarah Van Bell paced Waukee in assists for the day, producing 18 across the three matches, five of which came against Valley alone. The foursome of Layanna Green, Maddie Weber, Zoe Fisher and Ella Pedersen paced the way in kills for the match with two kills each. Valley has now taken six of the last seven battles and 20 of the last 25 meetings between the two teams. 

The next battle for Waukee was against Dowling and was just as tough of a contest. Set one fell in favor of the Maroons 25-16 while an early push by Dowling helped seal the deal in set two, 25-10. Despite the outcome, it was the best match of the day for the Warriors, who set tournament-bests in digs (27) and assists, all while nearly perfect from the serving line. That meant 26 successful serves out of 27 attempts. Of the 14 assists in the match, Van Bell led the way with six assists of her own. Seniors Green and Weber paced the way in kills with five each. Dowling has now taken three out of the last four contests and 16 out of the last 24 meetings. 

Senior Maddie Weber with a dig during a contest with Dowling Catholic Saturday, Sept. 5 in the Valley tournament.

In the battle against Ankeny, the Warriors fell in both sets 25-15 and 25-13. The Warriors did have 15 kills in the contest but the effect wasn't as strong due to 16 kill errors in the match. Ankeny employed a solid game that included out dueling Waukee in digs 26-18 while producing a serve efficiency mark of 95.7 percent. Waukee went 26-of-29 from the serving line. Leading the way individually in assists once again was Van Bell with seven assists while Green led the way with five of Waukee's 15 kills against the Hawkettes. Kori Knox and Van Bell both produced four digs for the match. The loss for Waukee continues an unlucky streak against Ankeny as the Hawks have taken four out of the last five and 23 of the last 26 meetings. 

Up next for the Warriors as they look to bounce back will be a one-on-one match-up with Marshalltown on the road Tuesday, Sept. 8. First serve will get the match going at 7:30 p.m. 

Alexa Sammler helps save a point for Waukee in a contest against Dowling Catholic Saturday, Sept. 5 in the Valley Tournament.