Glenwood volleyball coach Maria Jacobus called it a fundamental victory for her team at Creston Thursday night.
“Throughout the season, it’s been pretty apparent that if we have great serve receive like we did tonight, we feel pretty comfortable with what our offense can do,” Jacobus said. “Sometimes our passing and serve receive get away from us. Tonight we got back to good fundamentals.”
The Rams held on to seventh place in the Hawkeye 10 at 4-4, and improved to 12-13 overall by defeating Creston 27-25, 16-25, 25-21, 25-19.
With Shenandoah’s victory over Atlantic Thursday, the Fillies slipped ahead of Creston for eighth place at 3-6. Creston is now ninth at 2-6, and 10-9 overall with a trip to Class 4A top-ranked Harlan looming on Tuesday.
The match was a preview of the Class 4A regional opener on Oct. 28 at Glenwood. With the first and third sets coming down to the final points Thursday, Jacobus said it’s apparent a repeat victory over the Panthers won’t be easily obtained.
“With their quickness on defense and ability to scramble, that’s one of the best Creston teams I’ve seen in a long time,” Jacobus said. “They have a couple of tall girls, too, and they do a great job of blocking. To be successful against them, we have to adjust our front row, and try to force them into situations where they have to set somebody besides (Natalie) Mostek. You push them to get out of system as much as you can.”
Creston coach Polly Luther lamented the first set loss, after her team moved in front 8-4 on Hanna Luther’s ace serve.
Creston was called for a violation on a rally that could have been a 25-24 lead as Marie Hood struck a kill. Instead, it was 25-24 in Glenwood’s favor. With Creston trailing 26-25 moments later, a Luther set fell to the floor as there was a mixup on the targeted hitter.
The Panthers recovered well from that 27-25 loss, however, to blitz the Rams 25-16. Mostek and Jenna Taylor had successive blocks in building a 14-10 lead. Late in the set, Taylor teamed with Nicole Haley and Angie Sorensen for a successful attacking run up front.
“We were playing well,” Luther said. “Then in game three they had a couple of servers that just tore us up. One (Halie Darrow) was jump serving. It’s key for us to terminate the ball. Part of our problem tonight was getting passes up to target, which makes it a lot easier to set your middle (Mostek).”
Game four was tied 15-15, but Glenwood’s Kaycee Clark finished off a long rally with a shot down the left sideline to trigger a 10-4 finish that ended the match.
“We play with a lot of hesitation at times,” Luther said, “and in volleyball you can’t do that. It’s a game of reaction a lot of times. Their defense was solid tonight, too.”
Junior outside hitter Jana King and sophomore outside hitter Kaycee Clark led The Rams with eight kills. Sophomore Kali Mumm added seven as 5-10 junior middle hitter Courtney Magnussen was slowed by a knee injury. Coach Jacobus expects her to be improved and a “go-to” offensive force by regional time.
Glenwood had a clear advantage in ace serves, in part through stellar defense, but also with tougher serves to handle.
“We have to get better about that,” Luther said. “We’re decent about putting it where it needs to be put, but if it’s not effective, then it’s easier for them to get into their offense.”
Mostek led the Panthers with 14 kills, but no others reached double figures. Mostek also had 13 solo blocks, and Sorensen had seven. Jami Sickels was the busiest defender at 17-22 on serve receive with 14 digs.
In other action around the Hawkeye 10 Thursday, St. Albert topped Red Oak 3-1 in the match for fifth place, Shenandoah beat Atlantic 3-1 and Lewis Central swept Denison-Schleswig 3-0. Clarinda was at the Southwest Valley Quadrangular.
Serving (aces) — Haylee LaMasters 15-15, Natalie Mostek 13-14, Alli Thomsen 13-14, Hanna Luther 11-11, Jami Sickels 12-13, Brenna Baker 6-6.
Attacks (kills) — Mostek 14, Jenna Taylor 7, Angie Sorensen 6, Nicole Haley 6, Marie Hood 3, Luther 1.
Blocks (solo-assists) — Mostek 13-1, Sorensen 6-2, Taylor 4-2, Hood 0-7, Luther 0-3, Haley 0-2, Ashley Harris 0-1.
Setting (assists) — Luther 31.
Digs — Sickels 14, LaMasters 8, Mostek 4, Luther 3, Thomsen 3, Baker 3.
Serve receive — Sickels 17-22, LaMasters 7-10, Haley 6-6, Baker 3-9, Thomsen 6-16, Sorensen 2-4.
Creston’s JV was successful Thursday night in a 25-22, 25-13 victory over Glenwood.
Ashley Bargstadt had four ace serves and Olivia Nielsen notched three. Josie Sickels was 11-11 in serving. Sydney Dunphy hit five kills.
“We have some girls stepping into different positions and being successful,” coach Jessie McClellan said. “We looked good tonight, anticipating and moving to where the ball was. The girls are playing well as a team. These are all things that come with experience and playing against our varsity every day.”
Glenwood defeated the Creston freshmen Thursday 25-18, 25-15, 25-14, 13-25.
“Unforced errors were our downfall,” coach Mike McCabe said. “We gave them too many points. We still saw some flashes of good things. We will keep working at it.”
Creston participates in the Red Oak freshman tournament Saturday.