Knights deal Cards defeat in five nail-biting sets

Mac starts slow then outlasts Del Valle in marathon match that goes the distance, including a 30-28 third set


Jolie Gabriel

Leading her team in kills with 17 and aces with four, senior Grace Werkenthin was named the MaxPreps Player of the Game.

Samantha Powers, co-editor-in-chief

The varsity volleyball team pulled out a 3-2 win last night against Del Valle after being down 2-1 amid a saga of nail-biting sets. The teams were even after two sets, with the Cardinals taking the first set 25-10 and Knights roaring back to take the second, 25-19. After losing the third set in overtime, the Knights worked from the brink of defeat until they could taste victory.

“We played really well,”  said junior Saraih Taylor, who celebrated her birthday on Friday with a pair of aces and four digs in the match. “We just need to start with a lot of energy and not wait, but overall it was a great game.”

The Knights were up during the third set, but their lead slipped away enough for Del Valle to overtake them and finish the set with a 30-28 win. The Knights needed to win the next set to tie and extend the game.

“There was a lot of pressure because we were down and needed to win the fourth set,” senior Katie Peterson said. “Thankfully, as a team we work really well under pressure. We got a lot of good energy and started running a faster offense. We knew that we could beat the team as long as we played our game, so that’s what we did.”

We knew that we could beat the team as long as we played our game, so that’s what we did.”

— senior Katie Peterson

The Knights narrowly won the fourth set 25-23 to tie up the game, keeping the match alive long enough for them to secure the game with a 15-7 tiebreaking set.

“We came out a little bit slow in the first sets but managed to pull ourselves together and played really well as a team in the fourth and fifth sets,” senior Grace Werkenthin said. “I was really proud of how we all worked together to win.”

Werkenthin earned MaxPreps Player of the Game honors by making 17 of the team’s 50 kills in the match and by serving four of the team’s 11 aces. Werkenthin was glad to play an integral part in her team’s victory.

“It feels really good,” Werkenthin said. “I’m proud of myself and my team.”

Not to be outdone, Peterson registered 42 digs and received 35 serves in the match. Peterson, a game-time player, is thankful that her teammates have her back on the court.

“My teammates make it so much easier to play defense,” Peterson said. “I can always trust that they are going to do their part, which takes a lot of pressure off of me and the area of court I have to cover. I love to dive, so any chance I get I go for the ball.”

Eager to get in on the star player behavior of her teammates, junior Teasia Cooks doled out 31 assists and added 22 digs and two aces to her scoreline. 

No rest for the winners, though. A home match between district unbeatens awaits on Wednesday when the Anderson Trojans pay a visit to Mac to renew a great rivalry.

Birthday girl Saraih Taylor contributed four digs and two aces to her team’s winning effort on the road against Del Valle. (Jolie Gabriel)