By Perry Bell
Knoxville and Pella High were tied at a game one entering game three of the Little Hawkeye Conference volleyball showdown last week in Knoxville.
The Lady Dutch won a hotly contested game three 25-23 and went on to win the match with a win in game four.
The final score in favor of the Dutch was 25-21, 15-25, 25-23, 25-18.
“We are getting more consistent play out of our team,” stated Pella Coach Catie Brand.
She added, “We had a breakdown in game two, but we kept attacking and became more aggressive in game three.”
Panther Coach Eric Fee was disappointed in the outcome and replied, “Pella played great they were more prepared and more aggressive than we were. I just didn’t have our girls prepared and ready to play.”
The win elevated the Dutch to 12-14 overall and to 2-2 in the Little Hawkeye Conference.
The Panthers fell to 9-19 for the season and to 1-4 in the LHC.
The Dutch rallied from an 11-5 deficit in game one to tie the match at 14-14 before posting a 25-21 win. The final point came on a kill shot by Makenna Bogaard.
Game two saw the Panthers come back from a 12-7 deficit. The Panthers scored 13 straight points to win 25-15.
Meredith Cunningham served up the final 12 points of the game for the Panthers.
Game three proved to be the pivotal game of the night and both teams led in the game.
Pella led 9-4 early before the Panthers charged on top 20-19.
Jessica Holterhaus tied the match at 20-20 and the Dutch never trailed again in the game.
In the fourth and final game of the evening the Panthers held their final lead of the night at 15-14 before the Dutch scored 11 of the next 14 points of the contest.
Kills by Kylie Roslien and Bogaard ended the match.
Panther leaders were Chambray Daugherty with 19 kills and Cunningham and Cheyenne Jones each with seven.
Pella hitting leaders were Shannon Ewing with 12 kills and Anna Van Roekel with 11.
The Dutch had 29 assists by Regan Nelson. The Panthers countered with 29 assists from Cunningham.
Knoxville had five ace serves, led by Jaimie Rinehart with two. Roslien had two ace serves for Pella.
Jessica Holterhaus had six blocks in the match for the Dutch and Knoxville had six blocks from freshman Ashley Hawkshead.
In the all important dig category, Knoxville was paced by Cunningham with 22, Erica Fee with 20 and Brooke Chrisman with 15.
Taelor Rempe had 22 digs for Pella, Mallory Lynch had 15 and Ewing 11.
Pella will face Centerville and Newton Tuesday, Oct.16 at home.
Knoxville will host the Panther Invitational Saturday starting at 8:30 a.m. Teams slated to play in the KHS Invite include Atlantic, Iowa Falls, Grinnell, Pella Christian, Albia, Perry and ADM along with the Panthers.