Comets capture own tourney title

CONRAD – The BCLUW volleyball team put together its first five-match win streak of the season, going undefeated on Saturday to win its own Comet Invitational.

The Comets (14-14) cruised through pool play, dropping only one set with wins over North Tama, Meskwaki and North Fayette Valley, and then defeated NICL West Division rival Gladbrook-Reinbeck – for the third time this season – to advance to the championship match. There the Comets toppled defending tournament champion New Hampton (21-8) in a three-set finale, 25-23, 13-25, 15-11.

Olivia Callaway came away with 29 kills to lead the Comets, adding seven blocks and 37-for-41 serving with four aces. Nicole Montgomery added to BCLUW’s bold middle attack with 25 kills and a team-leading 11 blocks.

Haley Veldhouse contributed 19 kills, Hannah Sams added 18 kills and eight blocks, Kendall Scurr had 15 kills and Mallory Vawter added 13 kills. Vawter racked up 25 digs to lead the way while Scurr had 23 digs and served 44-for-45 with two aces.

Nicolette Simpson totaled 45 assists and Bobbi Paper had 38 more for the Comets.

North Tama and Gladbrook-Reinbeck both qualified for the four-team championship bracket as pool runners-up. The Redhawks, who lost to New Hampton in last year’s finals, had a 2-2 day to go to 16-11 for the year.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck (9-21) was led by Britney Keller’s 24 kills. Ellie Stoakes had 19 kills and a team-best seven blocks. Setter Jenny Schildroth dished out 59 assists and served 36-for-36 with seven aces, all of which came in a sweep of Valley Lutheran in pool play.

Taylor Weida served 29-for-31 with six aces, and Alyssa Christopher was 26-for-28 with four aces. Christopher and Bailea Evenson both notched 25 digs.

East Marshall made it a five-match day, advancing to the finals of the consolation bracket before falling to North Fayette Valley in straight sets, 25-19, 25-18. The Mustangs were 2-3 on the day, moving their season record to 5-17.

Claire Johnson tallied 26 kills and four blocks to lead the Mustangs, adding 23 digs. Sam Earley had 20 digs, while both Meriel Leavy and Kelsea Anderson had 13 kills.

Anderson served up 11 aces on the day, going 43-for-46, while Earley was 31-for-31 with three aces. Haley Long went 29-for-29 with five aces, and Sophia Grego stepped in to go 14-for-15 with three aces as well.

Madisen Hinegardner got 32 digs to lead the defense, with Long adding 24 digs. Brooke Miller and Ashley Allen contributed three blocks apiece, and Allen amassed 85 assists.

The Meskwaki Warriors went 0-4 for the day, falling to 0-20 for the season.

The NICL West Division closes out league play on Tuesday. BCLUW goes to AGWSR, Gladbrook-Reinbeck hosts South Hardin, and East Marshall entertains West Marshall. Grundy Center goes to South Tama in the match to determine the conference champion.

Meskwaki is back on the court Wednesday against Valley Lutheran, and North Tama entertains Gladbrook-Reinbeck on Thursday night. East Marshall closes its regular season Thursday at GMG.