Royals win first set, but fall to Mound in playoffs

The Watertown-Mayer volleyball team, seeded No. 6 entering Section 2AA play last week, certainly had its hands full in a first-round playoff matchup Thursday, Oct. 25. The Royals took on former Wright County Conference rival Mound-Westonka, ranked 10th in the state, seeded third in the section and owners of a 23-3 record.

The Royals sure didn’t seem to be intimidated, though, at least not early. Watertown-Mayer grabbed the early momentum with a 25-22 win in the first set, but ultimately couldn’t hang on to pull off an upset on the road. The Whitehawks ultimately proved to be too much in a 22-25, 25-17, 25-9, 25-20 win over Watertown-Mayer.

“We just saw wonderful glitters of what we can do as a team in that first game,” Watertown-Mayer coach Janis Runka said. “We passed well, we were able to run our offense in system, and we looked good. I was pleased with that. Than all of a sudden in the second and third games, it was like, oops, what happened? In the fourth game, we decided to pick it up again, but we ran into a road block, and that was it.”

For the Royals, Maggie Perrel led the way with 11 kills, 11 digs, three blocks and an ace. Ashley Vealetzek added seven kills, 10 digs and two aces.

Ashley Kelzer added five kills and five digs, and Kate Theisen had three kills and 11 digs. Chelsea Wandersee had 30 assists and Kiana Paulson finished with seven digs.

Brenna Mack proved to be the biggest difference maker for the Whitehawks. The senior finished with 22 kills, 20 digs and three blocks. Brooke Berger added 13 kills and 18 digs, Haley Martin had 10 kills and an ace, Alicia Martin-Vega had nine kills and four blocks, and Callie Mack had 51 assists, five kills and six aces.

“Mound has a very solid team,” Runka said. They have their players, and they know how to use them. That’s all they do is play volleyball, and you can tell.”

With the loss, the Royals finished the season with a 12-15 record. Look for a season wrap up story in the coming weeks.

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