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Lady Jays nip Western, still have chance to make playoffs

Minnesota West Lady Jays (from left) Kiarra Danielson (14), Kennedy Buckneberg, Sami Polzin (5), Katarina Polzine and Dannyn Peterson (1) celebrate a point against Western Technical College Friday night.
Minnesota West Lady Jays (from left) Kiarra Danielson (14), Kennedy Buckneberg, Sami Polzin (5), Katarina Polzine and Dannyn Peterson (1) celebrate a point against Western Technical College Friday night.
Tim Middagh/The Globe
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WORTHINGTON -- In four tight sets, the Minnesota West Community and Technical College volleyball squad got the job done against Western Tech Friday night at the Center for Health and Wellness.

The match was grueling. It wasn’t the best performance the Lady Jays have had this fall. But was good enough to stay alive for a possible post-season playoff bid.

“We have to win tomorrow,” said West head coach Brittney McNab after her squad dumped Western 25-22, 23-25, 27-25, 25-23. “Because St. Cloud upset Fergus (Wednesday). We have to win tomorrow to have a chance.”

Saturday’s match (Oct. 22) with Century College, in Worthington, will begin at noon. In a September matchup between the two squads, Century came away with a 3-0 victory.

Minnesota West Lady Jays outside hitter Kennedy Buckneberg (20) spikes the ball against Western Technical College Cavaliers Mallory Farr (3) and Maycie Vierck (7) during Friday night's match.
Minnesota West outside hitter Kennedy Buckneberg (20) spikes the ball against the Western Technical College Cavaliers' Mallory Farr (3) and Maycie Vierck (7) in Worthington Friday.
Tim Middagh/The Globe

The Lady Jays improved to 13-16 on the season with their Friday triumph over the Cavaliers, who fell to 6-11. But it was touch-and-go for a while.

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In the third set, the Jays moved out to a comfortable 22-15 lead but got sloppy and watched as Western Tech scored the next eight points to take a 23-22 lead. Sophomore right-side hitter Sami Polzin produced a pair of ace hits moments later to put West ahead 26-25, and the 27th point came on a Cavalier mis-hit.

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Then in the fourth set, a mini-run of three service points by Kiarra Danielson gave West a 16-13 advantage, which later became 22-17. Again, the Lady Jays lost focus before finally pulling it out.

Buckneberg finished with 19 kills and 23 digs. Danielson had 10 digs and 21 set assists. Peterson had 14 kills and 16 digs and was 17-for-17 serving. Courtney Moser contributed 20 set assists, Polzin 19 digs and Kat Polzine 23-for-23 serving.

“We’ve got to get back to that level of finishing,” said McNab, who hinted that at this time of year volleyball players’ minds sometimes get fuzzy.

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“We literally lose track of those things that we’re supposed to be doing. It’s a long season,” she said.

But it’s not over yet. There’s one more big showdown coming, at least.

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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