Vermeulen leads Mount Vernon to third placeWATETOWN — The final point was the perfect way to end her high school career. Mount Vernon’s Sarah Vermeulen tipped the 25th point in the fourth and final set, helping the Fillies take third place over White River 3-1 at the Class B state volleyball tournament Saturday in Watertown.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
WATETOWN — The final point was the perfect way to end her high school career.
Mount Vernon’s Sarah Vermeulen tipped the 25th point in the fourth and final set, helping the Fillies take third place over White River 3-1 at the Class B state volleyball tournament Saturday in Watertown.
Vermeulen’s game-high 20 kills and team-leading 24 digs were key in Mount Vernon coach Darcy Deinert’s first-ever win on the final day of the state tournament in her coaching career.
The Fillies won by set scores of 25-16, 25-22, 19-25 and 25-15.
“That last kill kind of topped it off, actually,” Vermeulen said of her high school career.
“And Darcy has never ended a state tournament with a win, so it was nice to do that with her in my senior year.”
The only senior on Deinert’s roster, Vermeulen finished the three-day tournament with 58 kills, averaging 4.83. That mark topped all other attackers in Class B.
“She has a great will to work and will to win,” Deinert said. “Last year she played an outside, because she can really swing about anywhere. Our team needed her to play the middle with Chandra (Koch) out.
“She had to adjust, and she didn’t complain about it. She just did what we needed her to do and played hard for us.”
Against White River, she opened the match with Mount Vernon’s first four points — all kills. By the end of the second set, she had 15 of her 20 kills and also picked up two blocks.
The Fillies cruised through the first set and had fought through some trouble for a second-set win.
Mount Vernon held the lead in the entire first set, but gave up the lead in the second set on three consecutive White River aces. The set was tied at 8, 11 and eventually 19 before Vermeulen and teammate Kelsey Schmidt each had a kill, Lindsay Brech served her own ace and Mount Vernon took the 2-0 match lead when the Lady Tigers served the 25th point into the net.
Vermeulen was forced to the back row most of the third and fourth sets. Though she didn’t get to enjoy attacking at the net, she helped the Fillies scoop many White River attacks. After the 25-19 third-set loss, Mount Vernon responded in the fourth.
Eighth-grader Shelby Selland — who has been playing in place of Koch, who is out with a knee injury — opened the fourth set with two blocks and Mount Vernon went on a 7-1 run to pull ahead.
Vermeulen — who has started since her freshman year — said the third-place state tournament finish is her best memory as a Mount Vernon volleyball player. She was named to the all-tournament team.
“Right away we wanted to get out and attack them to catch them off guard,” Vermeulen said. “We did a pretty good job of that. Then, after a while they switched up their defense a little bit, so we had to adjust.”
Setter Lexie Christensen had 27 assists and 12 digs in the final match. She was also named to the all tournament team.
Myriah Beiswanger had 16 digs, Brech had 13 digs and Schmidt had six kills and 15 digs.
“I thought our defense really came out over the weekend,” Deinert said. “The week we had off we really worked on our defense, and when we came up here we knew we’d have to play it really strong.”
Mount Vernon, which took sixth place in the state tournament last season, finished the year 26-2. The only losses the team had came from Class A Chamberlain and Arlington in the tournament semifinals on Friday.