The Faribault Falcons volleyball team played their third match in as many days pulling out a thrilling 3-2 win at Red Wing Saturday.  It was sure fun to broadcast the match in "The Cage" as the Wingers have named their gym.

Scores were 25-18 Red Wing first set, 25-23 Faribault second, 25-23 Red Wing third set, Faribault won the final two sets 25-20, 15-12.

In the first set Red Wing sophomore Kennedy Knopp went on a serving explosion with her jump serve hard for Faribault to handle.  Knopp had four successive ace serves to spark a Wingers pull away from the Falcons.

Red Wing had a 20-8 lead before Faribault came on gaining momentum for the second set.  The Wingers won the first 25-18.  I remember saying the Falcons needed to get senor Payton Evenstad more involved in the offense.

Head Coach JoAnna Lane evidently thought the same thing because Evenstad definitely was more involved the rest of the match.

I don't know what Coach Lane and her staff said to get the back row players to improve their serve reception after that first set but Knopp had three ace serves the rest of the contest.  Faribault libero senior Hanna Cunniff received a majority of those early but after adjusting her approach Red Wing tried to serve to other spots on the floor.

The Falcons primarily rode the arm of Evenstad in the second set to a 25-23 win.  It took 4 set points for Faribault to cpture the set.  I had Evenstad with 7 kills after she recorded 1 kill in the first set.  Senior Bennett Wolff led the Falcons with 5 kills in the first set and did more setting of Evenstad in the second set.

Wolff was awesome on the block the entire match with back to back to back blocks during one stretch of play in the fourth set.  In fact my opinion is the Faribault block was the difference in the match.  Junior Meghan Swanson had multiple blocks and kills in each of the last three sets.

It took Red Wing three set points to hammer down the third set.  The Falcons led most of the way to 20 points but too many errors doomed them.  I had them with 12 errors compared to the Wingers 5 errors.

Senior Payton Ross was a spark plug in the fourth set Faribault win with a couple ace serves and some very good passes.  Evenstad also tallied a couple of ace serves.  The Falcons cut the errors to 7.

I've always believed the more aggressive team wins in most sports.  In volleyball teams can score points both on offense and defense.  Faribault won the fifth set by being the more aggressive team.  My unofficial statistics showed the Falcons with 8 kills, the Wingers 4 kills in the final set.

Faribault aggression led to some errors at the end of the set giving Red Wing hope.  It took three match points before the Falcons won on a Wingers hitting error.

Unofficially I had Evenstad finish with 20 kills, Wolff 13 kills, junior Olivia Bauer 12 kills for Faribault.  Red Wing was led by junior Baillie Roschen 18 kills.  The Wingers have one senior on their team.

The five seniors listed on the roster were our Malecha's Auto Body "Crunch Time" Faribault Players of the Game.  Payton Ross, Hanna Cunniff, Bennett Wolff, Nadia Hullett and Payton Evenstad.

Coach Lane told me before the match her team would end their season Wednesday, November 18, 2020 with no playoff matches.  She hopes to pick up matches so they can play matches the final three days of their season.

Faribault hosts Northfield Tuesday in a nonconference match.

Red Wing Gym "The Cage." Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Red Wing Gym "The Cage." Photo by Gordy Kosfeld


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