West Delaware swept a determined Solon squad in a WaMaC East volleyball match on Cancer Awareness Night, at Seedorff Gymnasium, Sept. 14.
The Spartans entered the night with a deceptive 6-10 mark on the year, and early on, it looked like the match would be a walk in the park for the Class 3A No. 2 Hawks, as the opening set was no contest at 25-7.
“We were mentally and physically ready to play,” said coach Brett Mather following the match. “I thought our mindset was perfect right out of the gate and we executed really well in game one. Solon was playing defense the entire set and we were on offense.”
The Hawks bolted to a quick 8-0 lead with Kayla Felton at the serving line on a pair of Jaci Bries kills and kills from setter Carlee Smith and outside hitter Alivia Schulte. A trio of Solon hitting errors added to the damage.
The Spartans managed to get as close as seven points, at 12-5, but a seven-serve run from Ella Koloc and three more Bries kills pushed the advantage to 19-5 on the way to the 25-7 final.
Solon looked like a different team in set two, and took its largest lead of the night at 7-4. The Hawks battled back to regain the lead at 10-9 on the strength of kills from Bries, Schulte and Smith. Felton’s kill gave West Delaware some cushion at 18-14.
Solon’s Delaney Bombei’s two kills kept things interesting at 19-16, but two unforced Spartan errors moved the lead to 21-16, and Allie Demmer’s quick kill made it 22-17. After a Solon attack grazed the post to make it 23-17, a bit of confusion followed, as the set was declared over and the teams quickly left the floor, with the Hawks up two sets.
“Defensively, I thought we let down a bit in game two,” Mather said. “We need to work on being consistent defensively.”
Set three was tight, with 15 ties, the last at 19-19. That’s when Smith took control and found Schulte for three kills, Bries for two and Demmer on a quick set to end a competitive game at 25-19.
“A tight game three is good for you,” said Mather. “I like getting in those tight games. It shows mentally who is strong out there and what we need to work on. I saw some things we’re doing real well and some things we need to improve on.”
West Delaware statistics against Solon: assists — Smith 31, Koloc four, Bries, Felton and Schulte one; kills — Schulte 13, Bries eight, Demmer five, Smith six, Felton four, Brooke Krogmann two; digs — Felton 15, Schulte 12, Koloc 10, Smith eight, Olivia Halverson six, Krogmann one; blocks — Smith, Bries, Schulte and Demmer one; ace serves — Koloc and Halverson one; serves — Halverson 9-of-9, Smith 7-of-7, Felton 22-of-23, Koloc 14-of-15, Bries 8-of-10, Schulte 5-of-7.
The Hawks hosted their annual eight-team invitational, Sept. 18. West Delaware went 4-0 on the day, defeating Maquoketa Valley, 2-0 (game scores were not available). The Hawks won, 21-19, 21-8 over Vinton-Shellsburg, 21-7, 21-8 over Oelwein and 21-10, 21-12 over Ed-Co.
No tournament statistics were available at press time.