More accolades role in for the Dallas Center-Grimes volleyball team for the miraculous 2018 campaign that started with a school record 17 straight wins, and ended with the program’s third ever trip to the state tournament.
The Fillies totaled top twenty marks in both kills (16th - 946 kills) and aces (15th - 192 aces) in Class 4A along with pacing the class in total blocks with 330, nearly thirty more blocks than the second place team in Lewis Central. The Fillies also put out 1,712 digs, the fourth best mark across the Class 4A landscape and 18th best mark across the entire state of Iowa.
DC-G volleyball was indeed a dominant force in 2018 filled with many outstanding players. Two of those such players were recently honored by the Iowa Girls Coaches Association in the All-State volleyball selections. The two Fillie stars earning such honors were junior Katelyn Knudsen and senior Dakota Miles.
Knudsen herself was an absolute tear and routinely gave opponents headaches. At the state tournament alone, Kudsen delivered 28 kills, a top ten mark for all state tournament players, and for her efforts she was awarded a spot on the Class 4A All-Tournament team. She also posted 26 digs through the two state tournament matches.
Her junior season in total has consisted of 278 kills which ranked third in the Little Hawkeye Conference and 24th overall across the Class 4A landscape. That 278 mark now gives Knudsen 500 total kills for her career. After earning an All-Conference honor, Knudsen has earned another well deserving accolade which is no where near a surprise to Fillie head volleyball coach Cheryl Voelker.
“Katelyn deserves everything she receives,” began Voelker. “She’s a very technical player and there aren’t many times that you’ll see her not be fundamentally sound. She’s such a dedicated individual and just a real pleasure to coach.”
So much production coming out of the 5’-06” junior which proves the point Knudsen herself has been saying all this time.
“Just because you aren’t six feet tall doesn’t mean you can’t be a great volleyball player and I feel like I’ve proven that,” said Knudsen. “It’s all about timing and technique. I trust all the work I’ve put in at practice and in the weight room and I make sure I’m in the right position. I practice box jumps a lot and I make sure I’m not done until every jump in perfect.”
The junior certainly has shown that size is just a number and is now one of the most feared players inside the Little Hawkeye Conference for next season.
“It will be great to have her back for next year,” said Voelker. “She’s been a great leader as a junior both with her play and with her attitude and it’s really exciting to think about how that will play out for next season.”
The second Fillie volleyball star on the All-State roster is the DC-G all time digs leader in Dakota Miles. The senior entered the coveted list as an honorable mention honoree. Miles was a force to be reckoned with in 2018 earning first team All-Conference honors and more with her 587 digs. That mark paced the entire Little Hawkeye Conference by 116 digs and bested all of Class 4A by 18 digs. That also ranked Miles fifth across the entire state of Iowa. Her 51 digs against conference foe Pella on August 2 marked the third highest in a single match for the 2018 season. Miles not only eclipsed the 1,000 career digs mark which is rarefied air in itself, but she also cemented herself as the school leader in digs, ending with 1,171 career digs.
In the state tournament alone, Miles came through with 39 digs which was one of the better Class 4A state tournament marks. Her 587 digs in 2018 had so much meaning behind it especially given certain circumstances.
“It’s always big to get that many digs in a season but when your team’s offense is doing so well, it’s even more impressive,” said Voelker. “A lot of times you see a lot of digs from teams who are on the defensive most of the time but our offense has been really strong all season. That means that virtually every dig opportunity that comes her way, Dakota has earned them which is quite impressive.”