SHENANDOAH — Creston couldn’t overcome a familiar pattern of slow starts in nearly rebounding to gain a Hawkeye 10 road victory here Tuesday night.
Shenandoah secured its second league victory of the season by holding off the Panthers, 25-16, 22-25, 24-26, 27-25, 15-10.
The win pushed the Fillies to 2-6 in the conference and 19-11 overall. Creston slipped to 2-5 in the league and 10-8 overall.
Creston won the second and third sets to take a 2-1 lead, and seemed poised to finish off the victory in game four before falling 27-25.
“We had a lead in that fourth game and should have won it,” coach Polly Luther said.
The Panthers had a rocky start, which is a frustrating trend, Luther said.
“These girls have all the skill that they need, and they show (later) that they can do it,” Luther said. “But we come out and play reserved, stop hitting the ball, passes are off. We have not come out and payed a good game one since Norwalk.”
A pair of junior hitters, 6-foot Serena Parker and 5-11 Sydney Nielsen, did most of the damage up front for the Fillies. With Creston middle hitter Natalie Mostek sometimes triple blocked, setter Hanna Luther often found an alternate attack route for her 40 assists. Ashley Harris started on the left side and had a team-high 14 kills. Nicole Haley added 10.
Mostek was effective at times in halting the dual attacks of Nielsen and Parker, totaling six solo blocks and one assist.
Jami Sickels led the defense in digs with 12. The team’s serving percentage was high again, with Mostek (17-18) and Alli Thomsen (16-16) each notching two aces. Serve receive was a little more sporadic, with Haylee LaMasters posting the most consistent effort at 14-20.
A consistent effort from the start would be helpful Thursday in a home match against Glenwood. A win would not only match the Rams’ win total in the conference (3-3, 11-12 overall), but provide some confidence for the same matchup in the Class 4A regional opener Oct. 28 at Glenwood.
In other league play Tuesday, Red Oak rallied from a 2-0 deficit to knock off Clarinda 3-2, Denison-Schleswig swept Atlantic 3-0, Lewis Central edged Class 3A No. 1-rated Carroll Kuemper Catholic 3-2 and Harlan picked up a pair of 3-0 wins over St. Albert and Glenwood.
Serving (aces) — Alli Thomsen 16-16 (2), Natalie Mostek 17-18 (2), Brenna Baker 16-16 (1), Haylee LaMasters 16-16, Hanna Luther 15-16.
Attacks (kills) — Ashley Harris 14, Nicole Haley 10, Natalie Mostek 8, Jenna Taylor 7, Angie Sorensen 5.
Blocks (solo-assists) — Mostek 6-1, Sorensen 2-2, Harris 1-1, Taylor 0-1, Luther 0-1.
Setting (assists) — Luther 40.
Digs — Jami Sickels 12, Thomsen 10, LaMasters 8.
Serve receive — LaMasters 14-20, Thomsen 16-29, Sickels 11-19, Baker 9-22, Sorensen 2-3, Haley 2-7, Mostek 1-2.
Hawkeye 10 standings (conf, overall) — 1. Harlan 7-0, 20-2; 2. Lewis Central 6-1, 12-12; 3. Kuemper Catholic 6-2, 19-2; 4. Clarinda 5-2, 16-6; 5. Red Oak 4-3, 18-4; 6. (tie) St. Albert 3-3, 20-4 and Glenwood 3-3, 11-12; 8. Creston 2-5, 10-8; 9. Shenandoah 2-6, 19-11; 10. Denison-Schleswig 1-6, 6-20; 11. Atlantic 0-8, 3-20.
Creston’s JV defeated Shenandoah 25-14, 25-19. Ashley Bargstadt was 15-of-15 at the service line with four aces.
“We need to focus on playing our game at all times,” Creston coach Jessie McClellan said. “They gave us a run for our money in game two, but we pulled out the win.”
Shenandoah freshmen topped Creston 25-19, 25-16, 25-23, 15-14 in a close match Tuesday.
“We continue to improve,” coach Mike McCabe said. “The improvement is starting to show up in our game play. We were very competitive tonight.”