1A VOLLEYBALL: Regents eliminate GMG with victory in rubber match
GARWIN – Attacking the Wolverines’ weakness, Waterloo Christian made its third meeting against GMG its most dominant yet.
Rattling off extended runs in all three sets, the Regents regrouped from a slow start to sweep the Wolverines 25-19, 25-15, 25-14 in a Class 1A Region 6 first round match Tuesday.
April Hall, Aubrey Grant and Whitney Smith each accounted for five kills as the visitors pounced from all angles to overwhelm the Wolverines.
“They got some runs against us, they hit the ball well and hit the lines well,” said GMG coach Darlene Koster. “Covering lines isn’t our strong point, so that’s where they scored their points.”
GMG (4-14), which had claimed the first set against Waterloo Christian in their previous two meetings, got off to another good start leading 7-2 early. The Regents (9-13) took 12 of the next 15 points as Deanna Reed’s kill gave Waterloo Christian a 14-10 lead. Olivia Barritt, who finished 10-for-10 behind the service line, served five straight with an ace as GMG regained a 16-14 edge. Back-to-back service winners and a kill by Read sparked the Regents’ next run as they won nine of the last 11 to claim the first set.
Read’s hard serving gave the Wolverines trouble all night as she finished 18-of-20 with four aces, while adding four kills up front.
“We came out swinging more than we normally do,” said Waterloo Christian coach Hannah Bro. “The girls really wanted to win and they weren’t going to settle for just pushing the ball over.”
The Regents applied that intensity to race out to a 17-5 advantage in the second set. Waterloo Christian won four points by kill in a seven-point span as consecutive winners by Anna Doering and Read secured the 12-point cushion. GMG didn’t fold as successful attacks from Barritt and Abigail Duden bookended a pair of Waterloo Christian hitting errors. A third hitting error extended GMG’s run to six and forced a Regent timeout and the Wolverines continued to tighten the vise as Caitlin Appelgate’s kill pulled GMG within 18-15 to cap a 10-1 flurry.
“We just worked hard on passing the ball to our setter and hitting the ball down well,” said Koster. “We got some more kills in that game.”
Smith and Hall went back to work at the net and Read recorded two more aces as Waterloo Christian didn’t surrender another point in the set to put the Wolverines on the brink.
Neither team led by more than three through the first 24 points of the final set which included six ties. Two GMG errors triggered a 6-0 run for the visitors and Hall’s service winner stretched the margin to 20-13.
The home team benefited from one more Regent error to pull within 20-14 before the visitors claimed the next five points to complete the sweep.
“We really did well the first two sets,” said Koster. “We set it up and hit it down well, but we struggled to keep it together in the third set.”
Barritt paced the Wolverines’ attack with four kills, while Mackenzie Burt and Duden each had three. Duden came up with a team-high 11 digs and finished 8-for-8 on serve as Appelgate had two kills, one block, one block assist and converted 8 of 9 serves with an ace.
Burt distributed six assists to go with seven digs, while Jennifer Borota added six digs and three assists. Mikaella Koster chipped in three digs, two assists and two kills. Barritt had three digs and two assists, while leading GMG on serve at 10-for-10 with an ace.
The Wolverines served 47-of-51 as a team as Burt (7-for-8) as Koster (7-for-7) also had solid games behind the line. Peyton Mannan also had an ace and is one of eight seniors that played their final match for GMG.
“Our team has come along and worked hard,” said Coach Koster. “We came with our ‘A’ game in the first set, but the last couple sets we didn’t play quite as hard.”
Waterloo Christian advances to play Don Bosco in a quarterfinal match Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. in Winthrop. The Dons defeated East Buchanan 3-1 in Winthrop Tuesday and beat the Regents 3-0 in Waterloo on Oct. 1.
Doering led the Regents with 19 assists and 16 digs, Maddy Sullivan dished out 10 assists and Smith tallied eight. Vanessa Lorenz added four kills, while Hall and Smith each had a block.
“We worked really hard on coming from behind in practice and not letting up,” said Bro. “We’ve been able to fill the holes (defensively) from the first two times we played (GMG).”
The teams split during the regular season. Waterloo Christian defeated GMG 3-1 (20-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-20) in Garwin on Oct. 8, while the Wolverines earned a 2-0 decision (23-21, 21-17) over the Regents in their home tournament in Garwin on Sept. 14. … The eight seniors on GMG include Borota, Olivia Welton, Summer Langenbau, Appelgate, Burt, Koster, Duden and Mannan.
Colo-NESCO 3, Ankeny Christian Academy 0
COLO Sisters Caitlyn and Sam Riese provided an imposing attack up front as the Royals soared past Ankeny Christian Academy, 25-10, 25-23, 25-12, in Class 1A Region 4 first-round play Tuesday.
Caitlyn had eight kills, two digs and two blocks, while Sam recorded 11 kills, two blocks and an ace on 6-for-6 serving. The Royals (13-12) advance to the quarterfinal round where they’ll host No. 8 ranked Grandview Park Baptist (27-10) on Oct. 29 at 7 p.m.
McKenna Farren led Colo-NESCO on serve with five aces on a 20-for-21 effort, while also doling out 15 assists. Brittnee Packer matched Farren’s assist total and connected on all 10 of her serves. Madison Farren added four kills, five digs and served 8-of-9 with a service winner. Kylie Sarver tacked on five digs as the Royals have won seven of their last 10. No stats were available for Ankeny Christian Academy (13-17).
The Royals lost to Grandview Park Baptist 2-0 (21-13, 21-10) in Eldora on Sept. 14. The Defenders, a 2012 state qualifier, defeated Iowa Christian Academy 3-0 in their first round match in Des Moines Tuesday.