Saturday, November 01, 2008

Playoff Out & About: Shakopee/Chaska

#7 posting 11.1.2008
your daily dose of girls volleyball news & information

SHAKOPEE sabers 3, CHASKA hawks 1
(25-21, 25-27, 25-22, 25-21)

In a battle of heavyweights it was defending AAA champ and current #1 team Shakopee stopping Chaska (AAA champ in 2005 and 2006) in four. As fitting a championship match this contest was memorable with both teams taking the best hits and continuing action. Sets lasted 35 minutes. The two met earlier in the year in the Apple Valley tournament with the Sabers winning 2-0. Ashley Wittman had 37 points for the Sabers. Shakopee is probably the odds on favorite to be the number one seed in the upcoming state tournament. The Sabers are 28-2. Chaska finished 24-5.

Again the energy was crackling as the stands were full. Fans were on the edge of their seats in each set. Each set was in doubt with margins two points of less when the score was north of 20. In three of those occasions the Sabers finished with either a 3-1 run or 3-0 run. Chaska held off set point with the Sabers for their only victory in set two. The odd fact in this contest---only two Shakopee rotations scored more than they allowed. Chaska had three rotations above .500. But Shakopee's second rotation---Mollie Geske's serve----racked up 30% of the Shakopee points on the night. The best Chaska rotation provided 21% of their points.

Shakopee broke free from an 8 all tie in the first set with a six point burst. Chaska took a time out trying to stop the momentum at 12-8, but Jean Theis added two kills after the break to make it 14-8. That was to be the Sabers biggest lead of the entire night. Chaska inched back into the contest with the help of the blocking game. Amanda Unze and Chelsie Stahl each had a block to cut the margin to 15-12. Neither team had a big run the rest of the way. Also neither team had a door slamming FBSO game. Chaska did have a string of four straight FBSO, but Shakopee found a way to get points on the next three serves as the race to 25 intensified. Chaska had two self inflicted errors for Saber points 21 and 22 which forced a Hawk time out 22-18. Unze delivered a side out block and then Bekah Saugen added a kill to cut the margin to 22-20. Ashley Wittman put down a kill and then finished the set with a FBSO kill. Wittman had 9 points in the first set. The odd thing was Chaska out "earned" Shakopee 17-15. The six point run, and the two points at 21/22 were key for the Sabers win in set one.

Chaska had strong starts in each of the remaining sets---none better than in set two with a five point run to lead 5-2. Stahl delivered two blocks in the run. Shakopee recovered and pulled ahead 10-9 after a three point run. Chaska had another three point run to take the lead 14-12. The Hawks didn't keep it long with three straight hitting errors. Side outs ruled the next five points. Chaska inched ahead at 18-17 after an overpass kill by Ellen Degler. Shakopee had their third three point run to go ahead 21-19. The Sabers were on the cusp of victory after a Wittman kill gave them a 24-23 lead. On set point the Sabers were in the net. It was Chaska's turn to have set point at 25-24 after a Shakopee time out. Wittman postponed the Hawks celebration to tie it at 25. Chaska got the side out with a Stahl kill. The second set ended on the second set point on Amanda Konetchy's kill.

Shakopee trailed 10-8 when they went on a 7 point run, 6 on Mollie Geske's serve. Wittman had four points in the run which Chaska tried to stop with a time out at 13-10. Chaska had a surge of their own with four straight points to close to 16-15. That forced a Saber time out. Chaska tied the game at 20 on an ace by Konetchy. Shakopee got a kill from Jean Theis for a side out. A Wittman kill forced a Chaska time out. Chaska did get a side out kill from Shelby Peterson to make it 22-21. Again Wittman knocked down two kills to put the Sabers at match point. The Hawks held for one point on a kill by Unze. Wittman again delivered the set ending kill. Again the key factors for the Sabers---a major run of 7 points and Wittman had 10 points.

It was Chaska enjoying their biggest lead of the night at 21-8 when Shakopee took a time out. Two side outs later Mollie Geske stepped to the service line and went to town. Shakopee went off on an 9 point run (including the side out kill by Wittman). That was the back breaker. A four point lead turned into to a five point deficit. Wittman had five of the points in that run. Chaska wasn't done yet. They scrambled back to trail 21-20 after a 5-2 run three kills by Peterson. That prompted a Saber time out. At the time Wittman was in the back row for the second of three cycles. The Sabers got breathing room with a side out kill by Mariah Monnens. Peterson delivered the last Hawk point and then Elizabeth Benusa and Wittman put down kills followed by a Benusa ace to punch their ticket to state. The Sabers have a chance to defend.

In all three Shakopee wins there was a common pattern----one run that went on longer than usual---6 to 9 points---and Wittman unleashed. In the Shakopee loss in the second set the runs were only the garden variety three, not the lengthy ones that made it hard for the Hawks to recover. Also Wittman only had 7 points in the second set compared to 9-10-11 in sets 1, 3, and 4.

you can see the entire Shakopee vs Chaska photo gallery at

rotation, player, position, aces-blocks-kills--totals
1. Elizabeth Benusa, 2010, OH 2-0-9------11
2. Mollie Geske, 2010, L 1-0-0------1
2fr: Jean Theis, 2010, MH 0-1-4----5
3. Amelia Yager, 2010, S 0-0-2-----2
3fr: Megan Westlund, 2011, S 0-0-2------2
4. Ashley Wittman, 2010, OH 1-1-35-----37
5. Emily Schroers, 2011, DS 0-0-0------0
5fr: Claire Sames, 2012, MH 0-2-4-----6
6. Mariah Monnens, 2010, RH 1-1-8-----10
totals: 5-5-64------74 points, 26 points on Chaska errors

1. Shelby Peterson, 2010, OH 1-1-10----12
2. Kenzie Niesche, 2009, L 2-0-0------2
2fr: Ellen Degler, 2010, MH 0-1-5-----6
3. Maggie Finkel, 2009, DS 0-0-0-----0
3fr: Amanda Unze, 2009, RH 0-2-9-----11
4. Bekah Saugen, 2010, OH 0-2-6----8
4. Lynn Bielski, 2010, OH 0-0-1------1
5. Megan Kettler, 2010, DS 0-0-0-----0
5fr: Chelsie Stahl, 2011, MH 1-6-13-----20
6. Amanda Konetchy, 2010, S 1-0-2----3
totals: 5-12-46-------63 points, 28 points on Shakopee errors

Ashley Wittman
12 FBSO kills, two set point finishes and 11 points in the 4th set.

team, fbso/fbso attempts; fbso %; points, % earned; % allowed
Shakopee 32/56-.571; .740; .308
Chaska 33/55--.600; .692; .260
Runs 3+: Shakopee 9, Chaska 9
Longest string: Shakopee 9, Chaska 5
Missed Serves: Chaska 4, Shakopee 2
Time Out %: Shakopee 4/4-1.000; Chaska 3/6-.500


1. Benusa 24-20 .545
2. Geske 30-14 .682
3. Yager 12-16 .429
4. Wittman 12-12 .500
5. Schroers 9-13 .409
6. Monnens 13-16 .448
totals: 100-91 .523

1, Peterson 18-25 .419
2. Niesche 19-23 .452
3. Finkel 14-12 .538
4. Saugen 13-12 .520
5. Kettler 13-9 .591
6. Konetchy 14-19 .424
totals: 91-100 .476

Set: 5 10 15 20 25
set 1 S S S S S
set 2 C S S S C*
set 3 S C S S S
set 4 C C S S S
*won with extra points

Team 1 2 3 4
Shakopee 6 3 5 5
Chaska 0 3 2 4

Next up: tomorrow morning