skip navigation

West Central Area Punches Ticket to Class A State Volleyball Tourney with Win over Underwood

By Craig Olson, 11/04/23, 11:00PM CDT


The West Central Area lady Knights are the Section 6A volleyball champs and are headed to state for the first time in program history.  WCA defeated the Underwood Rockets 3-1 (25-20, 26-24, 22-25, 25-21) Saturday night at the Kennedy Secondary School in Fergus Falls.


The Knights were led by Macy Grosz (51 set assists, 15/15 serving, 16 digs), Mya Foslien (26 kills, 25 digs, 2 blocks, 11/13 serving, 1 ace), Izzy Puchalski (14 kills, 6 digs, 1 block, 19/20 serving, 1 kill), Madelyn Westrom (16/17 serving, 1 ace, 23 digs), Whitney Westrom (16/16 serving, 18 digs), Jaclynn Nelson (7 digs, 5 kills, 2 blocks), Alaina Sykora (16/17 serving, 1 ace) and Madi Fagre (8 kills, 8 digs).

Underwood seniors Ezrah Baker (17) and Liz Lukken (19) combined for 36 kills.  Mily Albjerg added 9 kills, 2 solo blocks and 5 block assists.  Kallyn Grove was a perfect 15-for-15 serving, distributed 39 set assists, recorded 20 digs and added 6 kills and 4 block assists.  Other serving leaders were Baker (21/21, 1 ace), Lukken (14/14), Katie Hess (13/13) and Brooklyn Christianson (16/17).  Defensively, Albjerg had a team high 23 digs, Lukken contributed 18 digs and Christianson had 10.

"My team showed up ready to play and left it all on the court," said Underwood Head Coach Breck Grove.  "In the end, WCA played a cleaner game and earned their trip to the state tournament.   It's hard to end most seasons, but this year is especially difficult.  Our girls continually put the team ahead of themselves and worked hard to improve every day.   They really are a group of amazing young women who care about others and love to play volleyball.  The qualities of this team made for such a fun season!  Good Luck to WCA as they represent our section at the state tournament." 

Whitney Westrom loads up for the kill. PHOTO PROVIDED

Section 6A Champs! PHOTO PROVIDED

The Knights qualified for their first ever State Tournament. PHOTO PROVIDED

Izzy Puchalski with the kill as Madi Fagre looks on. PHOTO PROVIDED

Mya Foslien gets a congratulatory hug, along with her championship medal, from her Dad, Activities Director Jake Foslien. PHOTO PROVIDED

The Knights received the number 5 seed and will face fourth-seeded New Life Academy of Woodbury at 5:00pm Thursday at the Xcel Energy center in St. Paul.

Here is a set-by-set recap provided by WCA Head Coach Missy Foslien.

Set 1
The Knights and Rockets kept it close in the first set, but the Knights had a couple of exciting runs, with Alaina Sykora serving six points straight to put us up 17-9. We Kept a comfortable lead, but did allow them to creep back in closing out set one 25-20. Mya Foslien had 6 kills and 1 block in set one, while Izzy Puchalski added 3 kills and Alaina Sykora went 8/8 from the service line.   

Set 2
Set two saw the Knights down early 3-9. The Knights are no strangers to coming back after being down, but it took a while to catch up.  It wasn’t until the Rockets were up 15-20, that the Knights fought their way back, 18-20. Then they inched closer to tie the score 23-23 and finally with Mya Foslien at the service line the Knights overtook the Rockets 26-24. Mya Foslien added 7 kills and 9 digs, and Madi Fagre had 4 kills to complete set 2.

Set 3
Set three was a dog fight, it was back and forth. The Rockets kept getting us on short tips and down the line on some well placed kills by their outside hitters.  We struggled to pick up those and it was very frustrating.  We were up 21-18, just four points away, and let them overtake us. We made some great plays ourselves, Macy Grosz did a great job connecting with Izzy Puchalski(4 kills) and Mya Foslien (5 kills), but it was just not enough, and our confidence was a bit shaken going into set three.   

Set 4
Being close to ending that set and not winning the match, got the girls fired up for set four. We again focused on small chunks of the game, fighting to get to 5 and then 10 and so on.  It appeared that the Rockets found their blocking rhythm, forcing the Knights to take a timeout when Mya was blocked twice, with the score 10-11. We regrouped and made some adjustments and then put the foot on the gas. Madelyn Westrom had a nice service run late in the game to put us up 22-17. The Knights battled to keep the lead, as the Rockets came closer 24-21, but on game point, Whitney Westrom had a game winning block to finish it off.