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Knights Struggle At Alta, Earn Split Tuesday

By Staff | Oct 1, 2009

GRAETTINGER – – All good things must come to an end, as the Knights of Graettinger/Terril discovered over the weekend at the Alta Invitational Volleyball Tournament. After winning four of their past five matches, Graettinger/Terril volleyball team ended their appearance at Saturday’s Alta Tournament with an 9-3 record.

The Knights lost to Remsen St. Mary’s by game scores of 14-21, 21-19 15-13 and then lost to Alta by scores of 14-21, and 18-21. Clay Central-Everly earned a win with game scores of 10-21, 21-13 and 15-9 of the Knights.

“Our struggles were due in large part to inconsistent passing and a general lack of focus,” said G/T co-coach Jeff Sansgaard. “We played hard but were unable to win a close game against Remsen-St. Mary’s, were unprepared for the talent level of Alta, and were unmotivated against a good Clay Central-Everly team who we had beat earlier this year.”

For the tournament, Tasha Neilson led the Knights with 16 kills along with 17 digs, as well as 15 serves with five aces.

Dakota Hovinga had 11 kills with 21 digs and 19 serves with four aces. Morgan Mortenson came away with 11 kills.

Lindsay Flaharty had 36 set assists and 18 digs, while Logan Clabaugh made 27 serves with three aces.

On Tuesday, the Knight netters traveled to Swea City for a Cornbelt Conference doubleheader and matches with Ventura and North Sentral Kossuth.

The Knights earned a hard-fought 3-1 win over Ventura, but were shut out 3-0 by North Sentral Kossuth in the nightcap.

Graettinger/Terril opened with a 26-24, 24-23, 28-26, 25-21 win over the Vikings.

“The girls have not been strangers to these types of matches,” noted Sansgaard. “We passed well but struggled to get many of their attacks away from a very physically-gifted Ventura team. We had a lot of success digging the ball and were able to capitalize on the opponents mistakes.”

But in their second match of the evening, the Knights were able to stay close in the first two games before losing 18-25, 18-25 and 11-25 to the Eagles.

“We fought hard but struggled on serve reception and serving in general,” said Sansgaard. “Unlike the Ventura game the girls were unable to capitalize on NSK errors.”

For the night, Tasha Neilson had 21 kills and 34 digs to lead the Knights. Dakota Hovinga had 13 kills and34 digs and connected on 38 serves, picking up three aces in the process.

Nikki Brown had 12 kills at the net, while Lindsay Flaharty had 22 set assists and completed 23 serves with two aces. Alissa Simington had 15 digs in the match to round out the effort.

Graettinger/Terril returns home to host Corwith-Wesley-Luverne and Twin River Valley in Cornbelt Conference action tonight (Thursday).