Royals volleyball team sets its sights on postseason

The Watertown-Mayer volleyball team closed the regular season on Tuesday, Oct. 15, with a 3-2 road victory over Tri City United.

In a match in which none of the first four sets were decided by more than three points, the Royals fell behind early, losing the first set 25-23. However, they rallied quickly, winning both the second and third sets by scores of 25-22, before Sibley East stayed alive with a 25-23 win in the fourth set.

Watertown-Mayer clinched the victory with a 15-11 win in the fifth set.

“The girls played a really consistent game,” Watertown-Mayer coach Andrea Raser said. “TCU did a really good job hanging in the game. After the fourth set, the girls decided to push all the way to the finish and never really let TCU back in the game during the fifth set.”

Ashley Vealetzek had a career-high 39 kills in the match, while adding 20 digs and 2.5 blocks. Ashley Kelzer added nine kills and Caitlin Duske had seven. Lily Reinert finished with five kills.

Chelsea Wandersee had 50 assists and 35 digs, while Kiana Paulson added 21 digs and Kelzer had 13.

Watertown-Mayer finished the regular season with a 12-14 overall record and a 2-5 mark in the Minnesota River Conference, good for sixth place.

As the No. 6 seed in Section 2AA, the Royals will open the postseason at third-seeded Sibley East on Thursday, Oct. 24. The Royals just lost at home to Sibley East, 3-0, on Oct. 10.

If the Royals defeat Sibley East, they would advance to play Tuesday, Oct. 29, at New Prague against either seventh-seeded Glencoe-Silver Lake or second-seeded Jordan.

Raser said her team is more than capable of doing some damage in the playoffs. While the Royals have struggled at times, they’ve also pushed some of the state’s top teams.

“As I’ve said before, our record doesn’t show the talented team that we are,” Raser said. “However, we’ve been put in the best place possible for us to rise above and finish the season on our terms.”

Raser said that even though Sibley East just recently swept the Royals with ease, that match didn’t represent anything close to the Royals’ best volleyball.

“When we lost to them, we lost because we were playing without desire,” she said. “They haven’t seen us at our best, and we have been given the opportunity to show them who the Royals really are when it counts the most.”

Contact Matt Bunke at [email protected]