Panthers rally to sweep Denison
DENISON — Creston earned its second Hawkeye 10 match victory of the season with a 25-23, 25-15, 25-10 road sweep of Denison-Schleswig Tuesday night.
Shelby Pieper served eight in a row as Denison’s first server of the night, but Creston quickly snared the momentum with its own seven-point run, and from there it was close until the Panthers finished off the two-point win.
“Our passing got to where it needed to be and Hanna (Luther) put some decent balls up,” coach Polly Luther said. “Amy Dunphy came into that game and served well and went across the front row for us. Her serving was tremendous. I’d say she’s back.”
Dunphy, who has been battling an ankle injury, served 14-14 with one ace and was 10-11 at the net with four kills.
Natalie Mostek was the hitting star, going 28-31 on attacks with 13 kills. Sydney Dunphy was 19-21 with seven kills. Brianna Maitlen had six kills and served 15-15 with a team-high three aces.
Serve receive wasn’t spectacular for Creston, but Mostek was steady at 7-7. Luther ended with 27 setting assists.
“Games two and three we started hitting the ball,” Luther said. “Mostek and the Dunphy girls came to life and put balls away up front. Once we got our offensive game rolling, we seemed to work pretty well together. It’s nice to walk out of any school with a sweep.”
Creston improves to 2-4 in Hawkeye 10 play and 10-8 overall. Denison falls to 1-5 in the league and 1-21 overall.
“The girls continued to hustle and work hard, but we couldn’t keep up with Creston,” Denison coach Dana Marten said. “Our blocking needs to be quicker to really make a difference.”
In other conference matches Tuesday, Harlan swept Red Oak 3-0 to stay in a second-place tie with Lewis Central, who beat Shenandoah 3-0. They are one match behind Kuemper Catholic, which improved to 6-0 with a 3-2 win over Clarinda. Glenwood swept Atlantic 3-0.
Creston and Shenandoah are both 2-4 in a sixth-place tie in the conference along with Glenwood before the Fillies and Panthers meet Thursday in Shenandoah.
“They are pretty good, they’ve been battling everybody,” Luther said.
Serving (aces) — Brianna Maitlen 15-15 (3), Amy Dunphy 14-14 (1), Hanna Luther 12-12 (1), Sam McDonald 10-11 (1), Natalie Mostek 8-9, Haylee LaMasters 8-9 (1), Sydney Rogers 2-4 (1).
Attacks (kills) — Mostek 28-31 (13), Sydney Dunphy 19-21 (7), Maitlen 9-13 (6), Amy Dunphy 10-11 (4), Jenna Taylor 7-7 (5), Ashley Harris 5-6, Luther 3-3, Rogers 2-2.
Setting (assists) — Luther 27, Rogers 1, Harris 1.
Digs — McDonald 4, Luther 4, Rogers 4, A. Dunphy 2, LaMasters 2.
Creston’s JV defeated Denison-Schleswig 25-20, 17-25, 15-7 (time limit). Sarah Waigand had nine kills and three blocks, Marie Hood hit 13-14 with seven kills, and Taylor Hudson added six kills.
Brenna Baker had 24 setting assists and four digs for Creston (6-5). Audrey Fyock had a team-high 12 kills and served 16-16 with two aces. Nicole Haley served 15-15 with three aces and had three digs. Mackenzie Andreasen was 13-13 with two aces with four digs. Jana Johnson had two assisted blocks.
“We had a chance to do some really good things as far as setting up an offense and attacking the ball,” coach Mallory Peterson said. “We did a good job of fighting back tonight from our mistakes in the second set.”
A dominating 25-12 opening set helped carry Creston freshmen to a victory over Denison-Schleswig. After Denison won the second set, 27-25, Creston went on to win 15-9 and added another 25-16 triumph before the time limit.
“We came out very strong in game one after a long bus ride, and that’s not always easy to do,” said coach Mike McCabe. “Game two we had to adjust to a new lineup and lost a little focus. We rebounded and won the third game. Overall, we continue to pass well. We can be better in our hitting and serving.”
Serving leaders were Josie Sickels 17-19 with two aces, Gracie Russell 15-17 with three aces, Angela Sorensen 10-11 and Alli Thomsen 8-9 with two aces.
At the net, Angela Sorensen had the hot hand with 11 kills. Thomsen added five, Alyssa Higgins had four and Sydney Dunphy three.
Creston improved to 14-4-1 in matches and 38-12 in sets.