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Knights sink Sailors in Regional duel

October 29, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Dysart Reporter

Union volleyball opened Regional play with a convincing sweep of Columbus Catholic in La Porte City on Wednesday, Oct. 23, advancing to the second round against Roland-Story next week.

"We've had some good matches with Columbus over the years," coach Brian Jesse said. "It seems we draw them often for the first match of the postseason. We knew they were capable of playing some good volleyball, so we had to be ready to go."

According to junior libero Sophie Winkelpleck, the rivalry stems from the close distance and potentially "bad blood" between the two NICL East opponents to create great games.

Article Photos

Jasmyn Bush had 17 kills in the win over Columbus on Wednesday, Oct. 23.

"The coaches told us as long as we kept our side clean and not let this wild environment affect us, we could overpower them with our offense," Winkelpleck said. "We had to keep our heads on to win this game."

The Knights appeared calm and confident on their side of the net, quickly building an eight-point lead their opponent could not climb out of. Jasmyn Bush came alive with several early swings as Union took the first set 25-19. While the Sailors would score the first three points of the second set, the Knights had a response for every Columbus rally to win 25-17.

"Our ball control was good in those two sets," Jesse said. "Allie [Driscol] was doing a good job setting and pushing the ball outside the antennas for the hitters to go over the top."

With their season on the line, the Sailors pushed back and took a 8-3 lead in the third set. Slowly, the Knights chipped away at the lead and the match was tied 22-22 at a critical moment. Mistakes plagued the Sailors while the Knights remained steady to win 26-24 and sweep their rival for the second time this season.

"Columbus served aggressive, forcing us back deep and nothing easy for us," Jesse said. "We didn't want this to go to four, so we buckled down, made good passes and had some good hits tonight."

Bush led the Knights offensively with 17 kills, followed by Belle Weber with 13 kills and six digs. Lexi Nolan finished with five kills and six digs. Aubrey Gates had three kills off the bench. Allie Driscol tallied 39 assists and Winkelpleck had 11 digs.

"Some of these girls had several kills with only a few swings," Jesse said. "Aubrey, Laura and Sam each had some kills. It will take a little bit from everybody to keep moving on. Belle Weber started back row to bring Jazz up front earlier. Sometimes Jazz is our best hitter and it's one side out before Belle is back up there. It definitely helped and we will stick with it."

Union will continue their postseason hosting Roland-Story (29-10) on Tuesday, October 29 with tipoff at 7:00 p.m.

"We know it will be a tough battle for us," Jesse said. "We're glad we're at home for this game and hope to get another good crowd."

Winkelpleck and the 28-11 Knights are ready to get right back into the gym to strategize their next game and put themselves in a position to return to the Regional Finals at Grundy Center High School on November 4.

"We need to get an edge going into this next game," Winkepleck said. "As long as we are getting touches to give ourselves chances, we can be successful."

Photos from the win over Columbus Catholic are available to view and download at



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