Ambria Pipho (7) gets the ball in the air as Brooke Berns begins her approach to the net for a kill Tuesday night at West Delaware. (Photo by Becky Walz)
Ambria Pipho (7) gets the ball in the air as Brooke Berns begins her approach to the net for a kill Tuesday night at West Delaware. (Photo by Becky Walz)

Despite the 3-0 loss, the Decorah volleyball team had No. 5 West Delaware sweating in two sets in the Class 4A Region 6 semifinal in Manchester Tuesday night.

The Vikings end the year 15-19 overall. West Delaware (38-5) moves on to face Charles City (19-25) Monday, Nov. 4, at West Delaware in Manchester.

Decorah started the night a bit shaky, falling 12-25 in set one. Momentum swung the Viking’s way in the second, with Decorah taking a 9-1 lead. Slowing West Delaware erased the deficit, eventually tying the game 15-15. The Blue and Red fought back; however, it wasn’t enough as Decorah fell 25-22 in set two. Set three was another close match that went in the Hawks’ favor, 25-21.

“We came out a little tight in the first set and dug ourselves a bit of a hole; however, we rebounded and closed the gap. We came out strong in the second set, but their experience was more than we could hold off. We played a great third set as well, just coming up short. These girls played hard right up to the last point; I can’t fault their effort,” said Coach Gina Holthaus.

The Vikings produced 25 kills on 92 attack attempts. Serving the ball, Decorah went 55-for-58 with two aces. In addition, they made 21 assists, 62 digs and 13 total blocks.

Amanda Kuehner produced seven kills to lead Decorah. Brooke Berns provided five kills, four total blocks, four digs and was 6-for-7 at the serving line. Amelia Dugger and Ambria Pipho pounded down four kills apiece. Pipho also dished out 12 assists, with 10 digs and a 9-for-9 serving mark. Emma Johnson had a team-high 19 digs and was 14-for-14 at the serving line, while Alexis Svestka came up with five digs. Kallie Mincks served 11-for-11 and had three digs. Cassie Wyatt put up seven assists, had 15 digs and served 7-for-9.

“The seniors this year have been absolutely wonderful. They’ve stayed positive, led by example and pushed (pulled) these younger girls along with them. They will be missed,” expressed Coach Holthaus.

Decorah graduates seniors Alexis Svestka, Kaitlyn Schnitzler, Ambria Pipho, Amanda Kuehner, Katie Bjergum, Brooke Berns and Ava Holland. They return varsity experience from Emma Johnson, Kallie Mincks, Amelia Dugger, Mara Holland, Emma Nierengarten, Abigail Milburn, Avery Shelton, Annika Franzen and Cassie Wyatt.