Bobcats hammer Hoover
Not much went wrong for the Marshalltown volleyball team Tuesday.
Des Moines Hoover played with the Bobcats for the first 16 points of the match, but Marshalltown outscored the Huskies 67-9 the rest of the way.
The Bobcats – led by some aggressive serving – blasted Hoover 25-11, 25-4, 25-2 to end a three-match losing streak during a Central Iowa Metropolitan League non-conference clash at the Roundhouse.
“It’s always good to get a win and always good to get a win with all of your players,” said Marshalltown coach Terri Westendorf. “Everyone got a solid amount of playing time and we really didn’t drop off tonight. We put some other girls in and they played really hard.”
Every single player on the Bobcats’ varsity roster played as Rachel Whaley’s 13 kills led the way in the victory. Marshalltown (5-9) also had 20 aces on the night.
“We were a little jerky at the beginning, but once we got it going, they did a nice job with it,” Westendorf said of the serving. “We were hitting it positively. We didn’t cost ourselves many points because we got the ball in bounds most of the night.
“It was just a really good night from the very bottom to the very top. I thought it was awesome.”
Eight of Whaley’s 13 kills came in the first game and the junior hitter did not play at all in the final frame.
The Huskies hung around in the early stages of the opener but a long service run by senior Emily Rebik gave the Bobcats’ momentum they would carry through the rest of the match.
Rebik recorded a block and a kill on consecutive points to put Marshalltown up by four and then she served up five aces during an 11-point service run to end the frame. Whaley also had five kills during that stretch as the Bobcats grabbed control.
Three straight aces from Rebik in the second game gave the Bobcats a 5-1 advantage and then three more kills from Whaley extended the Marshalltown lead to 13-2 later.
Molly Major was inserted into the game to serve a few points later and the junior came through with three aces during a seven-point service run. Junior Leiah Paustian also had back-to-back kills during that span to help make it 22-3. Paustian finished with four kills and a team-high five digs for the Bobcats.
An Amanda Hughes kill, a Hoover service error and a kill by Rebik put the Bobcats up two games to none.
“We have some under-sized hitters so they had been struggling against the block,” said Westendorf. But it had to feel good for some of those girls to put the ball away tonight and not have to worry about the block as much.”
Playing mostly with backups or players in different positions in the final game, the Bobcats scored the first 10 points off Ashley Harris’ serve. Harris recorded four aces and a kill during that stretch and another long service run by Morgan Finch made it 22-1. Finch had two straight aces at the end of her run and back-to-back aces by junior Samantha Hughes ended the match.
Sophomore Haley Vajgrt finished with four kills, while Harris was 10-for-10 in serving with three aces and also had three assists and two digs off the bench. Senior setter Lindsey Ricken delivered 12 assists and also had two blocks, while seniors Jordyn Simbides and Kali Banks added six assists and three assists, respectively.
Rebik was 14-for-16 in serving with the seven aces, while Major was 8-for-8 with four aces. The Bobcats were 66-of-72 from behind the service line on the night.
Hoover (0-3) made a lot hitting errors and serving errors. The Bobcat defense wasn’t challenged too much, but Westendorf still used the night to fine tune some defensive issues Marshalltown had been having.
“We have been having some trouble with defensive position, so we wanted to work on that,” she said. “We needed to work on our tip position. We needed to make sure those players were in the right spots.
“You also always have to be prepared for the ball to come over. It’s easy to not be ready in a game like that so we concentrated on just always being ready for the ball to come to you.”
Whaley now leads the team with 89 kills, while Paustian has 66 kills. … Rebik’s seven aces Tuesday matched her entire season output coming into the match. … The Bobcats will have a full week to prepare for their next opponent. MHS travels to Southeast Polk for a non-conference battle at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.