The Kenyon-Wanamingo volleyball team knew a senior from their school was battling for his life in Rochester and channeled their emotions into a sweep of the Faribault Bethlehem Academy Cardinals tonight.  Scores were 25-21, 25-14, 25-21.

The seniors from the Knight football team were to be recognized before the match along with the senior volleyball players.  Shortly before the recognition many football players and senior class members headed to Rochester to provide support for 18 year old Michah Johnson of rural Kenyon.  So there was no senior football player recognition before the final home regular season volleyball match for Kenyon-Wanamingo.  Johnson is a member of the football team.

The Goodhue County Sheriff's Office says Johnson was injured in a fatal accident at the intersection of 490th Street and 130th Street south of Wanamingo.  The call came in about 7:50 a.m.

The driver of the other vehicle, Gregory Greseth, 32,  of rural Wanamingo was pronounced deceased at the scene and Johnson was airlifted to St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester with life threatening injuries.

When I arrived in the Castle the mood was understandably very somber.  I was told Johnson had been in surgery all day and it was very serious.  Before the playing of the National Anthem Superintendent Dr. Jeff Pesta told the crowd a former K-W student was deceased and the current student was "battling for his life" following the accident.

Assisting the Goodhue County Sheriff's Office in responding to the accident were the Wanamingo Fire and Rescue, Minnesota State Patrol, Zumbrota Ambulance and Mayo One.  Johnson was helicoptered from the scene to Rochester.  The accident remains under investigation.

To say the least it was a tough atmosphere in the Castle because I had the sense people didn't know if they should be cheering when someone they knew was fighting for their life.  I equated the mood to being in church.

All sets were competitive with the Cardinals experiencing leads in each set but the Knights had more runs than Bethlehem Academy.

Kenyon-Wanamingo junior Ally Peterson had 21 kills and I had her with just three hitting errors on the night.  Peterson also had two ace serves and 14 digs.   Senior Chelsea Gilster tallied 7 kills and 3 ace blocks.  Junior Julianna Boyum had 5 kills, two ace blocks and an ace serve. Junior Megan Mattson collected 4 kills and 5 digs.  Junior Madi Luebke dished out 18 assists and junior Riley Dummer added 13 assists and 10 digs with an ace serve.  Senior Kassandra Keller had 10 digs and 8 assists.

The Knights had 43 kills in the three set match and 7 hitting errors.  They collected 5 ace serves and missed 4.  Our Held Bus Service of Kenyon Knights of the match were the four seniors recognized before the match.  Players Kassandra Keller, Kaitlyn Vold and Chelsea Gilster and manager Celia Woock.

Bethlehem Academy played much better than earlier in the week when they were swept by the Medford Tigers on the road.  The Cardinals made some nice adjustments during the match and were able to get a block up that was effective at times but Peterson can absolutely terminate the ball from anywhere on the court.

Our Faribault State Farm Insurance Agents Faribault players of the match were senior libero Olivia Nass with a number of saves of balls that looked destined to be points and three ace serves.  Junior middle hitter Lexi Boyd led the team with 7 kills by my unofficial tally.  Freshman Kaitlyn Kotek had 4 ace serves and sophomore middle hitter Kennedy Tutak tallied three ace blocks.

My unofficial statistics had 26 kills by the Cardinals and 6 hitting errors.  They had 9 ace serves and 8 service errors.

The Knights play in a tournament in Apple Valley this weekend.  The Cardinals host Owatonna Monday on KDHL Radio.

K-W Volleyball Seniors 2018. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld