It was a battle of two Goliaths in the Iowa High School volleyball world Tuesday night as the fourth ranked Dallas Center-Grimes Fillies traveled to sixth ranked Pella for a Little Hawkeye Conference showdown.
After the Fillies swept the Lady Dutch in two matches last season, fans were looking at this match to be quite the contest and it sure did live up to the hype by going five full sets. Unfortunately for the Fillies, their bid for a third straight win over Pella fell short and the Lady Dutch took the victory. The loss marks just the fourth loss of the season for the Fillies.
Both teams had this match circled on their calenders and knew it would be one of their toughest tests of the season.
“Playing against Pella is always a major match-up,” began Fillie head coach Cheryl Voelker. “This is a match-up that show’s us how far along we are with our strengths and clearly exposes what we need to work on. Lately this has been the match up for conference supremacy and is a great way to get us prepared for postseason.”
Those thoughts were echoed by Fillie senior star Abby Greiman.
“Pella is a team that’s seemingly always at the state tournament,” began Greiman. “Even if we lose against them, we are able to take away so much that will make us that much better. We want to play the best and one of the best teams in the state just so happens to be in our conference. We want to be as fast tempo of an offense as we can and facing a team like Pella forces us to react quicker and play more fundamentally sound. Overall it’s great to face them.”
The Fillies opened up the match by taking the first set 25-20 before Pella pulled out two late set victories 25-23 to pull ahead two sets to one. The Fillies jumped out early in set four and ended up forcing a set five with a 25-17 win. The talent of these two teams forced the final set to go beyond the 15 point mark but in the end Pella pulled out the 18-16 set five win for their 21st win of the season.
Junior Katelyn Knudsen broke out tremendously for the Fillies with 31 digs and 21 out of the 52 team kills on the night. Fillie senior Dakota Miles set a milestone as her 51 digs on the night pushed her beyond the 1,000 digs mark for her career. Miles also paced the way in aces for the Fillies with three, while junior Kamryn O’Brien’s 30 assists for the night set her at 373 for the season so far.
The Fillies are now 27-4 on the season and currently pace the Little Hawkeye Conference in overall record. In conference play, the Fillies are 4-2 placing them third in the standings.
The next match on the docket for the Fillies will be a long standing rivalry against former conference foe ADM Thursday night at DC-G Meadows Gym. First serve will get things started at 7 p.m.