Area Volleyball: Lake City pushes K-M, comes up short of section title
ROCHESTER -- Top-ranked, top-seeded and two-time defending section champion Kasson-Mantorville was all that stood between Lake City and its first state tournament appearance. But the Tigers, which lost in straight-sets to the KoMets in mid-September, were more than up to the challenge, pushing K-M to four sets before falling 3-1 (25-17, 25-27, 25-14, 26-24) in the Section 1AA championship match Saturday at Mayo Civic Arena in Rochester.
“The (girls) played very well with a lot of energy and lost to a very good team,” said Lake City head coach Kirk Thornton. “The girls showed tremendous poise in playing against a heavily favored Kasson-Mantorville team. They never quit, and made Lake City proud of how hard they worked this season.”
After a first-set loss that featured uneven play from the challengers, Lake City came back with a solid attack and good defense on K-M's Division I commit, Peyton Seuss, in the second set. But whatever momentum the Tigers carried into the third evaporated with a flurry of errors. The KoMets had just three points from their offense on the way to an 11-6 lead, then went up 16-8 with a few more Lake City miscues. That allowed K-M to find an offensive flow to close the third set with a 6-1 run.
In the fourth, two pivotal calls against the Tigers swung the match to the KoMets. Up 20-19, a Lake City kill was overturned into a net infraction, giving K-M the point and a 20-20 tie. The Tigers took a timeout after falling behind 22-20 and came out with a Delaney Issendorf kill to stop a five-point K-M run.
After a KoMets' error tied the set 22-22, K-M got a fourtunate non-call on the next point. A kill attempt was driven into the tape, but the officials saw a Lake City block. The KoMets regrouped and earned the point.
The Tigers managed to take two of the next three points to tie things up once more. But K-M got the final two points to end Lake City's season.
Issendorf finished with 20 kills, eight digs and four blocks, while Olivia Pennington added nine kills, six digs and a pair of blocks. Grace Bany had four blocks and five kills, with Elyse Dalager running the offense with 25 assists. Hannah Grimm had 13 assists and libero Morgan West had a team-high 18 digs for Lake City.
The Tigers finish 19-12, with a Section 1AA East title as well. The KoMets (30-2) head back to the Class AA state tournament for the third year in a row. K-M has not lost to a Class AA team this season as its only setbacks are to third-ranked (Class AAA) Champlain Park and top-ranked (Class A) Minneota. The second-set loss to Lake City was just the 13th set loss this season for the KoMets.
K-M received the top seed in the state tournament, and will face unranked and unseeded St. Cloud Cathedral (28-2) in the quarterfinals. Third-ranked Concordia Academy-Roseville (27-3) earned the No. 2 seed and will face unseeded Belle Plaine (24-6). Fourth-ranked Marshall (27-5) is the No.3 seed and faces unseeded Park Rapids (24-6). No. 4 seed, and fifth-ranked, North Branch (26-4) will square off against No. 5 seed, and 10th-ranked, Watertown-Mayer (24-6).