Volleyball: Valle places second at state

The defending Class 1 champion Valle Catholic Lady Warriors were forced to settle for second place in the state this year Saturday afternoon, when they lost to Eminence 25-16, 25-17 in the championship game Saturday at Cape Girardeau.

The Redwings (35-4-2) settled for third place last year in Kansas City after a tie-breaker allowed Valle Catholic and New Haven to advance to the title match.

The Lady Warriors (28-6-1) split their Friday contest with Eminence at one game each, and both schools defeated final-four qualifiers Liberal and Santa Fe to present an anticipated showdown.

Gretchen Koller had six kills while seniors Dalton and Grass had five for Valle. Katie Bader had 15 digs and Alexa Kuenzel made nine to lead the Valle defense. Grass tallied 18 serve receptions and Maria Herzog added eight assists.

"Sometimes, you can wait for the inevitable mistake, but they just never came," said coach Nancy Fischer. "They played solid ball all afternoon, and kept us WAY off our game. 2nd place seems nice, but none of us feel like we played the way we should have. If we had played up to our total potential, and lost, then so be it. That may have not been the case."

"I'm just in a sad mode right now." senior Alli Dalton said. "It's just so hard to look at Nat (senior Natalie Grass), and all the other girls and feel real good right now. We will, eventually, but it's just so hard."

The Lady Warriors finish their season at 28-6-1. Fischer, who is well on her way to 600 career wins, has now been to the state tournament three times since 2003. After a championship in 1989, she has another championship (last year), a 3rd place finish (2003), and the 2nd place this year.