For the third time in two weeks, the Knoxville and Pella volleyball teams go head-to-head, though tonight’s match is the most important of all. It’s “win or go home” for the Panthers and Lady Dutch as they meet in Knoxville for the opening round of the Class 3A Regional Volleyball Tournament. Pella head coach Bob Fessler says he expects the two teams to put together another tightly contested match.
“We know each other well. They [Knoxville] work so hard, they’ve improved so much and we just seem to have dogfights,” says Fessler. “It’s great competition and it’s a lot of fun. We’re going to have to play well to beat them.”
The Lady Dutch have beat Knoxville in their first two tournament meetings this season, but the Panthers have held the upper hand in the last two contests, winning at their own tournament and claiming last week’s five-set marathon match in Little Hawkeye Conference play. Knoxville Coach Eric Fee says the girls have a “no quit” attitude and he has expected that from his team since the first day of practice.
“That’s kind of our mentality, and I push that in practice, I push that in games, and that’s my expectation,” says Fee. “I think the girls have done a great job of embracing that and making sure that’s their mindset too. They are not going to stop playing until that final whistle, and it pays off.”
Knoxville has a 16-19 overall record, while Pella enters tonight’s game in Knoxville with a mark of 10-24. You can hear the play-by-play on AM 1320 KNIA and streamed live at kniakrls.com with Derek Cardwell, starting tonight at around 6:45.