ANAMOSA - Coming off a frustrating loss at Camanche just five days earlier, Anamosa volleyball coach Caitlin McVay wanted to see her team to get right back into the mix for another River Valley Conference North division title with a big win hosting Cascade Tuesday, Sept. 17.
She got it, and more.
“The girls were refocused and played a great match,” said McVay, as her team tallied a 27-25, 25-16, 19-25, 25-21 triumph over the Cougars. “After the way we played against Camanche the girls wanted to do everything they could to get back into the race for another North division title. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us and might need a little bit of help along the way, but we need to take care of our business and then hope for the best. Hopefully we can work our way back into that mix eventually.”
Anamosa (13-7, 3-1) controlled their match with Cascade thanks to an amazing serving night that saw the team ripped 99-percent (95-of-99) of them over the net with nine going for aces.
“The good thing about our serving game was that not only did we serve at a 99-percent clip, but we didn’t just loft them up just to get them over the net. The girls hit good, hard serves and were placing them extremely well. Cascade had a tough time making passes to get into their offense and that was all due to our serving. The girls were really on all night long.”
Grace Lubben (22-of-22) and Abby Fairbanks (19-of-19) led the serving corps combining to go 41-of-41 while Delaney Frater was 6-of-5 with a team-best three aces.
The Raiders were able to attack offensively as well, as Olivia Nebergall was all over the court slamming down a team-best 10 kills on 27 attacks while Maggie McQuillen added eight more to go with nine digs and three blocked shots.
Gabby Gadient (17) and Kylie Chapman (12) combined to set 29 assists while Lexi Bright led Anamosa’s back row with 12 digs.
Anamosa made their annual trip to the Lisbon Invitational Saturday, Sept. 21, where they opened with a pool play 21-15, 21-15 triumph over West Burlington.
“We had a good kill efficiency (25-percent) and were really scrappy on defense,” McVay said. “I was very happy with that. Lauren Martensen was on fire in the back row making plays everywhere for us.”
Martensen tallied nine digs while McQuillen and Fairbanks paced the offensive effort with five kills each. Chapman set nine assists and the Raider serving game was once again pin-point drilling 93-percent across the net.
Anamosa battled class 2A eighth-ranked Mediapolis next and were handed a 19-21, 10-21 setback.
“Mediapolis is undefeated and a very good team,” McVay said. “We were right there with chances to win the first set but made a couple of late errors that we just couldn’t seem to recover from. The girls were really into this match, they wanted it bad.”
Nebergall had a big match ripping six kills at the Bulldogs while Chapman and Gadient each set 10 assists. Lubben had eight digs.
The Raiders rebounded with a 21-10, 21-8 rout over Calamus-Wheatland as eight different girls tallied kills, led by five from McQuillen.
“We were able to get quite a few girls onto the floor in this one and tried people in some different positions, too,” McVay said. “Serina Norte had a great serving game for us in the second set serving 13 straight points. Kalli Minger strung quite a few serves together for us, too.”
Against the host and class 1A seventh-ranked Lions, Anamosa rallied for an impressive 21-19, 13-21, 18-16 victory.
“Lisbon was a fun team to play,” McVay said. “They keep you on your toes and are so aggressive with everything they do. They tested us, and our girls responded under pressure.”
The Raiders entered bracket play with a second match-up with Mediapolis, and Anamosa had the talented Bulldogs on the ropes before succumbing to a 25-23, 15-25, 11-15 defeat.
“That was the first set Mediapolis had lost all year long,” McVay said. “They’ve been that dominant, and we had them frustrated in that first set. In the second set we stopped communicating and weren’t as aggressive as we were early on and Mediapolis jumped all over that and took the last two.”
Anamosa closed the tournament with a third-place overall finish after a 23-25, 25-21, 8-15 loss against West Branch.
“Again, we served well and aggressively, but just couldn’t quite close this match out with a win,” McVay said. “The girls did a great job of getting touches on their attacks and that allowed us to transition into our offense quickly and we had quite a few good attacks on them. Just not enough to get the win.”