WHEATLAND — With just its conference tournament standing in the way of the postseason, the Calamus-Wheatland volleyball team secured some late momentum by wrapping up its divisional slate with a pair of victories last week.
The Warriors hit the road and came back with a four-set victory over Marquette Catholic on Tuesday before following it up with a Senior Night sweep of Midland two nights later.
Cal-Wheat erupted out of the gate against the Eagles and then showed its mettle when things got tighter in the latter two sets of a 25-10, 25-20, 25-17 victory.
The Warriors steadily built their lead in the opening set, outscoring Midland in 5-2 stretches across the entire set: Cal-Wheat led 5-2, 10-4, 15-6, 20-8 and ultimately ended the set with a 25-10 win.
The Eagles responded in the second set, scoring nine of the first 12 points in the second set to force an early Cal-Wheat timeout.
Midland led by as many as seven points in the set, 11-4, when the tide began to turn.
Sparked by a service run by freshman Erica Will — who finished with a team-high five aces — the Warriors went on a run, they scored seven straight points to pull even at 11 and kept on going, rattling off 13 straight points to grab a 17-11 lead.
Coincidentally, Cal-Wheat’s own lead in the second set got as large as seven (20-13) before Midland crept closer late.
The third set started as a roller coaster: Cal-Wheat opened a 5-1 lead, Midland cut the advantage to 5-4, the Warriors stretched it back to 8-4, only to see it shrink again to 8-7.
The Warriors, though, scored the next two points to kick off a 7-2 push that gave them the cushion they needed to finish off the sweep.
Senior Addy Widel had a team-high 11 kills for the Warriors, who also picked up nine from Brooklynn Biddle and eight apiece from Kahlie Hill and Emily Boeckmann. Courtney Knoche set up 18 of Cal-Wheat’s 40 kills, while Delaney Engler joined her in double figures with 11 of her own.
Widel complemented her team lead in kills by also pacing the Warriors with 14 digs. Boeckmann chipped in 10, while Alexis Clark had six, Engler five and Olivia Ganzer four. Will had half of the team’s 10 aces, with Boeckmann (two), Knoche (two) and Engler (one) combining for the other five.
Aggressiveness at the net and service line carried Cal-Wheat past the Mohawks two days earlier, the Warriors amassed 159 kill attempts, turning 47 of them into kills and served up 16 aces for good measure in a 25-22, 25-21, 25-27, 25-17 victory.
Boeckmann had a huge night, putting down a team-best 16 kills, while also leading the charge on defense with 24 digs and serving up seven aces.
Will and Sarah Tulley both added nine kills, while Biddle and Hill each had five. Knoche dished out 19 assists with Engler adding 14.
Clark joined Boeckmann in double figures in digs with 12, while Engler and Tulley each had nine and Knoche and Ganzer seven. Will and Clark each had three aces, while Knoche had two and Tulley one.
Warriors to host Huskies
Cal-Wheat’s postseason journey will begin on its home floor as it welcomes fellow Tri-Rivers East foe, Cedar Valley Christian, for a 1A Region 7 first-round match at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 18.
The Warriors will be looking to avenge a regular-season setback to the Huskies and the two teams are slated to meet each other in pool play for the Tri-Rivers Conference tournament this week.
The winner of the postseason meeting will face the winner of Easton Valley and Maquoketa Valley in a quarterfinal two days later. The Warriors faced the River Hawks in a Tri-Rivers East match, but have yet to face the Wildcats.
Central City looms as a potential semifinal foe, while Burlington Notre Dame — the No. 1 team in class 1A — sits at the top of the bracket.