Maleah Walker

Oskaloosa's Maleah Walker (8) hits against Knoxville in a match last season

CARLISLE — The volleyball season officially served up their first matches of the season on Monday as No. 5 (4A) Oskaloosa and Knoxville were both in Carlisle for a season opening quad. The Indians would leave with a perfect 3-0 record while Knoxville went 2-1 with their lone loss coming to Osky.

Oskaloosa made quick work of their first two opponents as they would defeat Ottumwa 2-0 (21-15, 21-5) and Carlisle 2-0 (21-18, 21-10).

Knoxville would meet up with Osky in the final match of the night as the two played in three highly competitive sets. The Panthers edged out set one 23-21 before the Indians returned the favor to force a third set after winning the second 21-19. Osky took that momentum and ran with it to take the final set 15-9.

Faith DeRonde led the Indians on the night with 28 kills and three aces while Maleah Walker did a little bit of everything with 21 kills, four aces and 26 digs. Osky’s two setters split reps with Olivia Gordon finishing with 30 assists and four aces while Presley Blommers had 21 assists. Also highlighting the defense was Lucy Roach with 15 digs while Aby Thompson had three block assists.

“Once we got over the first match jitters, we evened out and played well,” Oskaloosa head coach Jennifer Comfort said. “Getting into official matches showed us where we have areas to improve, but we also got to celebrate how much our hard work has paid off during the offseason and preseason. I was proud of the girls for focusing on our side and playing quality volleyball to start off the season. They were tired from their first day back at school, but they fought through it and came home with three victories.”

Brittany Bacorn finished with four kills, 14 assists and eight digs for Knoxville against Osky while Abby Wadle and Ella Breazeale had seven and four kills, respectively. Emma Dunkin was 6-of-7 serving with eight digs while Melanie Sullivan finished with four kills and six digs.

Knoxville had a pair of close wins before that match, defeating Carlisle 2-1 (21-10, 20-22, 15-11) and Ottumwa 2-0 (21-11, 23-21).

Against Carlisle, Bacorn registered 11 kills, seven assists and 10 digs. Wadle and Breazeale both did well defensively at the net to combine for five block assists and one solo block. Sullivan had 14 digs while Emma Dunkin had two aces, seven digs and five assists. Hannah Dunkin followed with two aces and 10 digs.

In their win against Ottumwa, Bacorn led with eight kills, eight assists, three aces and six digs. Sullivan added five kills while Hannah Dunkin had eight assists and Emma Dunkin had one ace, four digs and three assists.

No. 5 Oskaloosa (3-0) is back in Carlisle on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. for another quad while Knoxville (2-1) is off before starting conference play next Tuesday at 7 p.m. at home against Albia (1-1).

Colin Peters can be reached at 641-672-2581, by email at or on Twitter @ColinPetersOH.

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