In only the second full week of school for Wartburg College students, the volleyball and football teams took part in a longstanding school rivalry against Luther College. Both teams travelled to Decorah and came home with commanding wins, beginning with volleyball’s 3-0 sweep on Wednesday, Sept. 18.

“I think it was really good for the whole team to come together as a collective and win,” Katie Foster ’19, the team’s libero, said. “People who don’t necessarily get to play all the time got to go in and play and did really, really well. It was a good night.”

Wartburg jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first set and never let Luther get ahead. Natalie Clayberg ’23 ended the set with a service ace to give Wartburg the 25-19 victory. Luther got within striking distance by tying the game twice in the first six points, but Wartburg responded with seven straight points. Foster tallied two aces during the run and Jayme Willemssen ’22 and Dani Johnson ’21 put away kills.

Wartburg ended the 25-11 set with three straight kills by Johnson, Willemssen and Abbey Thier ’22. The Knights hit .367 during the set while holding the Norse to -.059.

“Ball control always dictates that [hitting] and our ability to pressure them with our serve gave us easier balls to handle coming back,” Doug Frazell, co-head coach, said. “And then great decisions by the setters by putting hitters in positions to score.”

Luther finally took the lead by scoring the first point in the third set and then again with an ace. The back-and-forth offense
continued until the Knights went on a five point run to establish a 13-8 lead. Wartburg added in two three-point runs to close out the game with a 25-18 score.

“I think starting out with a really strong win was important to start the season off on a good note,” Foster said. “The first win is always the most exciting and it’s good because we have a lot of young players this year.” Willemssen and Johnson led Wartburg in kills with eight and seven, respectively. Paige Deppe ’20 boasted a .714 hitting percentage as a middle blocker, putting away five of seven attack attempts.

Claire March ’22 and Sydney Rottinghaus ’21 worked together as setters, combining for 31 of the team’s 33 assists. As a team, the Knights had eight service aces. Deppe, Foster and Marsh had two each. Foster
also led the team with 13 digs. Following a 3-1 weekend at the Central Invite, the Knights are now 11-6 overall and 1-0 in American Rivers Conference Play.

The Wartburg football team took on the Luther Norse on Saturday, Sept. 21 and came home with a 62-10 victory. This was the largest margin of victory in 77 meetings between the two teams. Using a two-quarterback system, Jace Moore ’21 and Noah Dodd ’20 combined for 270 total passing yards while completing 88.5 % of passes.

Nile McLaughlin ’23 also saw time, throwing for 44 yards and one touchdown pass. After the Knights opened the game with a fumble, Dodd was the first to score on either side with a five yard touchdown. It was the first of five rushing
and nine total touchdowns for Wartburg. Bennett Goettsch ’21 was the second score of the first quarter with a one yard run. Goettsch, Mason Carter ’20 and Matthew Mulford ‘20 scored in the second quarter, while Luther got on the board with a 44-yard run into the end zone.

Wartburg scored two touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters, while Luther rounded out the final score with a third-quarter field goal. Individually, Kolin Schulte ’20 led Wartburg in receiving yards with 134. Defensively, Eli Barrett ’21 and Antonio Santillan ‘22 had eight tackles each. Santillan and Caleb Dodd ’22 each recorded interceptions.

The next Wartburg team to take on Luther will be the women’s tennis program at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29 at home.



, ,




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: