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Pella Bests Pella Christian in Tulip City Rivalry Tuesday

Posted: Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 at 6:00 am
Author: KNIA/KRLS Sports - Andrew Schneider

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For the third consecutive season the road team picked up the victory in the Tulip City volleyball rivalry, with the Lady Dutch earning the win 3-1 (23-25, 25-22, 25-11, 25-10) against the Eagles.

Pella Christian was able to take the first round in a match filled with creative kills and errors from both teams. Head Coach Cindy Nikkel says their defensive communication and positioning was a key, but adds they were unable to keep that going when Pella started rolling.

“I feel like it was excellent in the first two sets, in three and four we got down early, and that’s when we got a little quiet,” Nikkel says. “Most teams do, but you gotta fight through that, and when you’re young you forget that’s super important.”

Pella’s Jessica Holterhaus continued her breakout freshman campaign, with 13 kills and four blocks, followed by McKenna Bogaard with 12. The Horstman sisters led the offense for PC, with AJ’s nine kills and Bekka’s eight.

Pella Head Coach Catie Brand says this was a “fresh start” for the team with the return of setter Kiki Pingel from a leg injury, and says their offensive dominance in the last two sets showed they were back at top strength. She says veteran leadership was the key to starting that late match charge.

“I was really impressed with our leadership tonight,” Brand says. “Kiara Bradley stepped up in a big way, in being kind of a vocal leader on the court.”

“And then both Katie Vander Molen and McKenna really had their back row play fuel their offense. Once they started clicking in the back row, then their offense came on in the front row and it came at the perfect time; we just needed to get into that groove.”

Pella High moves to 13-7 and have the week off until they travel to Centerville next Tuesday, and Pella Christian falls to 7-10 and next host their annual tournament on Saturday.