Mustangs knocked out by No. 5 Nevada

NEVADA – Class 3A No. 5-ranked Nevada hit with lethal efficiency in eliminating East Marshall from the opening round of Region 5 play, sweeping the Mustangs in three sets on Monday night.

The host Cubs improved to 30-11 for the year, finishing off East Marshall by scores of 25-11, 25-8, 25-10.

Nevada was led at the net by sophomore Kati Cassabaum, who tallied 11 kills and seven blocks. Megan Pringnitz and Abby Stephenson both had nine kills, and the aforementioned trio combined to score 29 of the team’s 33 successful attacks. Setter Michaela Matuska had 22 assists.

As a team, the Cubs had 33 kills with just four swinging errors on 72 attempts – a .403 kill efficiency.

East Marshall finished the season 6-19. The Mustangs were led by Claire Johnson with six kills, while Kelsea Anderson had four kills. Sam Earley chipped in two kills and Sophia Grego added another. Ashley Allen totaled 12 assists.

Madisen Hinegardner led the East Marshall defense with 10 digs, Johnson had nine, Haley Long eight and Anderson seven. Long was 4-for-4 serving, while Johnson, Anderson and Allen each had one block.

The Mustangs were kept out of their offense by Nevada’s fierce serving, which totaled 10 aces. Pringnitz went 23-for-26 with six aces, while Matuska was 22-for-22 with two aces.

Nevada improved to 3-1 against teams from the North Iowa Cedar League, and the Cubs will host another one in Thursday’s regional semifinals. South Tama (18-12) defeated Benton Community in four sets to advance.