‘Cats volleyball continues to lead WCC

After seven straight victories, the Waconia volleyball team’s streak came to a close Sept. 21 against Eastview. The loss, coming in the first game of the Eagle Invitational, put the Wildcats into the consolation bracket, which they then won to place ninth of the 16 teams. Earlier in the week, the Wildcats also defeated Shakopee, Glencoe-Silver Lake, and Holy Family. Senior Anna Pioske recently became only the third Waconia volleyball player in school history to achieve over 1,000 career kills.

Junior Kirsten Wagener hits the ball against Eastview at the Eagle Invitational over the weekend.
Junior Kirsten Wagener hits the ball against Eastview at the Eagle Invitational over the weekend.

Waconia 3, Shakopee 0
At Shakopee on Sept. 17, the Wildcats won 25-20, 25-23, and 25-12. A much-needed section win, head coach Jim Lee said he never knows what to expect from a team on the first day of the week.

“The girls played with a lot of poise,” he said.

Pioske had 17 kills and 10 digs against Shakopee. Sophomore Jessica Wolf had nine kills. Senior Caroline Jacobs had three aces and 15 digs, while junior Sam Paulson added another nine digs. Sophomore Anna Schmitt also had two aces.

Waconia 3, G-SL 0
Hosting the Panthers the next night, the Wildcats again won 25-16, 25-17, and 25-20. Lee said the match was a nice win over a talented conference team.

“Glencoe should be making some noise come playoff time with their senior-led team that can really surprise people,” he said.

It was a nice of serving aces for Waconia as Jacobs (4), sophomore Kia Pankey (3), and junior Julia Allenson (3), combined for 10 aces against Glencoe-Silver Lake. Pioske and Wolf led in kills, with 17 and 14, respectively. Sophomore Jenna VanDeVelde also had four kills. Senior Stephanie Dressen had four blocks, while Schmitt had 37 assists.

Waconia 3, Holy Family 0
At Holy Family on Sept. 20, Lee said Waconia filled the match with good flow, something he hoped would lead into the invitational over the weekend. Winning 25-11, 25-12, and 25-13, Wildcat kill leaders included Pioske (16), Wolf (9), Dressen (7), and junior Kirsten Wagener (6). Dressen and Wagener each had seven blocks on the night, while Pioske had 10 digs. Lee said Schmitt also did a great job “distributing the rock” against Holy Family.

Eagle Invitational
Consolation champions, the Wildcats finished ninth at the Eagle Invitational in Apple Valley on Sept. 21-22 with a 3-1 record. Despite winning the first set, Waconia’s sole loss came against Eastview in the first game on Sept. 21, falling 25-21, 20-25, and 25-17. Lee said the Wildcats looked emotionally drained due to the many matches the previous week.

“Eastview dug some great balls and played with a lot of emotion,” he said.

Jacobs led the Wildcats with 18 digs, followed by Pankey (11) and Paulson (10). Pioske had 16 kills, while Wolf had nine, and Dressen logged five. Wolf also had four aces. Taking down Andover later that night in a 25-20, 25-23 game, Pioske had 11 kills and 13 digs, while Schmitt had 22 assists. Lee said the Wildcats had a lot more pizzazz on Saturday morning, defeating the always-respected Marshall team. After winning the first set 25-18, the Wildcats found themselves down 20-23 in the second, before going on a five-point run to win it 25-23. Individual statistics against Marshall included Wolf (three aces), Schmitt (24 assists), Jacobs (eight digs), Pioske (nine digs, five blocks), and Dressen (three blocks).

Lee said the Wildcats knew they had to bring a strong defensive game against Bemidji later that day.

“Bemidji is a huge team with a lot of fire power,” he said.

The Wildcats brought the defense, winning 25-17, 25-22. Pankey had four aces, while Wolf had three. Wolf (10), Pioske (8), and VanDeVelde (3) led in kills, while Jacobs logged 13 digs.

The Wildcats are currently 14-5 this season and are leading the Wright County Conference with a spotless 5-0 record.