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Volleyball Wins Big in Quarterfinals, Falls in Semis

By Mindy Budzius, 11/03/23, 9:30AM CDT


The White Hawks volleyball team was seeded fifth going into playoffs in the 6AAA section.

The Mound Westonka volleyball team was seeded fifth going into Section 6AAA playoffs. It is arguably the toughest section in Class AAA, with five teams being ranked in the top 11 in the state. The White Hawks were ranked 11th. 

The White Hawks would play the No. 4 seed, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, on their court Oct. 25. It was a strong start with the White Hawks taking the first three points, but they would fall behind and stay about three points back until senior Kendal Richie started serving with a score of 17-19. Richie would serve the next three points, as junior Mia Weaver had a kill followed by a block.

Westonka would lose only one point before Weaver served four consecutive points, and sophomore Bridget Budzius would have five kills. When it was all said and done, the White Hawks would win the set with a seven-point run where they only dropped one point.

It was an intense second set, with the White Hawks trailing by two until sophomore Meaghan Kreiser would serve four consecutive points and get it tied up 6-6. The two teams would trade points for the remainder of the set until Weaver served three points thanks to a tip by Richie and one by junior Taryn Peglow. Sophomore Ashtyn Cupp would be subbed in to serve, and senior Maquinna Peglow would get a kill to win the set. The third set would be more intense (if that's possible!). The teams would again trade points and neither could get more than a two-point lead until sophomore Avery Pearson served four in a row thanks to a kill from Kreiser and a well timed block from Kreiser and M. Peglow.

The game would be tied at 23s, 24s and 25s until Benilde got a two-point lead to win the set 27-25. Set four would be more of the same with the teams going back and forth. The most significant lead would come with a four point run when Budzius was serving and Kreiser had a kill. The game would be tied at 21s and 22s until Cupp again came in to serve the last two points. The White Hawks would win set four 25-22.

Game highlights include 10 aces, five by Weaver and two by Pearson. Senior Annika Weir, Budzius, and Weaver would all serve at 100%. There would be 45 kills, with Budzius and Weaver having 12 each followed by Kreiser with 11, T. Peglow with five, M. Peglow with four, and Richie with one. Pearson would have 36 assists. The White Hawks would win 3-1 and advance to the semi-finals. 

The White Hawks would travel to the No. 1 seed, Northfield, on Oct. 27. The beginning of set one was close, with the teams trading points, until Richie went on a run of four serves thanks to a kill and a tip from T. Peglow. The White Hawks were playing very aggressive and took a five-point lead at 20-15. A couple serves by Weaver followed by three serves by Budzius and a set-ending kill by T. Peglow would give the White Hawks the win at 25-21.

Unfortunately, the White Hawks were not able to hold on to this momentum and never took the lead in the second set. They would fall 12-25. Northfield adjusted their game and they were able to keep the momentum going in the third set. The White Hawks would lose set three 7-25.

The White Hawks were able to fight and keep the fourth set closer but could not get enough momentum going, and would lose 15-25. Game highlights include Wier serving at 100%, and aces from Pearson, Weir and Richie. Budzius would lead the offense with nine kills, followed by Weaver with eight, Kreiser and T. Peglow with six. There would be four blocks one each by sophomore Lexie Rehman, Kreiser, M. Peglow and Weaver. Ultimately, the White Hawks would lose 1-3. The White Hawks finished their season with a 22-6 record.