Knoxville was tested numerous times Saturday at the Pella Christian Volleyball Tournament.
The day ended with the Panthers capturing wins in three of four matches. One of the wins came in a third set tie-breaker. The lone loss was to the host school, Pella Christian. It was the Panthers first loss of the year after 16 straight wins.
The Panthers enter the first full week of October with a season mark of 18 wins and 1 loss.
The tournament started with the Panthers fighting off Iowa Valley 21-7, 19-21, 15-12.
Katie Keitges had 12 kills, Tara Uitermarkt 10 and Reilly Finarty four.
Marley McKay chipped in 25 assists. Maggie Wilkins led the way with 17 digs followed by McKay with 10, Keitges nine, Lauren Micetich eight and Amy Sullivan with six.
Next came the loss to the Pella Christian Eagles. The final score showed PC winning 19-21, 21-13, 15-9.
In the loss to the Eagles, it was a see-saw match with many ebbs and flows.
In game one against the Eagles, PC led 19-15 only to see Knoxville score the final six points for the win.
Game two saw PC breakaway from a 9-8 lead and expand it with some strong defense and a couple of ace serves down the stretch from Avey Amelse and Anna Van Zee for a 21-13 victory.
Game three saw a tie at 7-7 before Molly Bolt went wild down the stretch to carry the Eagles to a 15-9 win. She scored four of the final five points with kills.
Bolt had 13 kills and Sarah Gritters added 10.
Knoxville’s leaders in the match were Keitges with eight kills and Finarty six.
McKay had 12 assists and Wilkins 10 digs.
McKay collected three ace serves and Keitges added two.
Knoxville bounced back strong to beat a good Bondurant-Farrar team 21-15, 22-20 and the Grand View Christian Thunder 21-15, 21-9.
Keitges had 15 kills against GVC and McKay 20 assists.
Abby Wadle picked up three blocks in the win over the Thunder.
Against B-F the Panthers had nine kills from Keitges and five by Finarty.
Alyssa Vaske chipped in two ace serves and Wadle was strong at the net with four blocks.
Panther Coach Mollie Keitges stated, “Pella Christian played very well against us. The great thing is we learned a lot about ourselves and some important things we need to work on as we head towards post season. I’m proud of the girls for bouncing back after that loss and beating a tough Bondurant team. This team is so fun to coach because they just don’t quit.”