ANAMOSA- Having already opened their season on a positive note with wins at Midland and at the Cascade tournament a week earlier, the Anamosa volleyball team wanted more of the same opening the River Valley Conference campaign hosting North Cedar Thursday Sept. 3.
Was there ever a doubt?
The Raiders cruised past the visiting Knights taking to a 25-18, 25-17, 25-22 triumph powered by a phenomenal performance from Jaiden Neuhaus.
“Jaiden just went off,” said Anamosa volleyball coach Caitlin McVay, as Neuhaus was simply unstoppable slamming down a total of 10 kills in the three-set match on just 18 attacks.
“She was so hot, we just kept going back to her and she kept delivering the kills. It was an amazing performance. She didn’t even have an error until the second set and by that time already had 10 attacks. That’s called being in the zone, and she was all night long. She had eight kills before her first error.”
Cecilia Venenga and Kelsey Scofield added five kills each for Anamosa (7-2, 1-0) who finished with 31 kills as a team in the match.
Kylie Chapman kept the offensive rhythm flowing all night long setting 28 assists while Grace Lubben was outstanding in the back row coming up with 17 digs.
Raider serving finished with 10 aces led by three from Chapman and two more from Lubben, Neuhaus and Lauren Martensen. As a team Anamosa drilled serves across the net at an 89-percent clip.
“This is how we wanted to start the conference season,” McVay said. “Starting the right way with a big win.”
The Raiders kept the homestand going Saturday, Set. 5, opening their own Raider Invitational against fellow River Valley Conference foe Bellevue, and were handed a tough and tight three-set defeat.
“We had to play the tournament without Jaiden, who got hurt Thursday night against North Cedar with what we thought might be a dislocated elbow,” McVay said. “We took her to the hospital Thursday night to get her checked out as she was in a good deal of pain, but it seems like she’s going to be okay and hopefully we can get her back this week.
“So, we had to go with a bit of a different line-up for Saturday, and after getting off to a very good start against Bellevue, just seemed to have a hard time keeping the energy and intensity up.”
Anamosa picked up their first win of the tournament with a triumph over another conference foe in Northeast in the second match of the day.
“Our hitters still weren’t as aggressive as they normally are, but the girls were able to get the job done and walk off the floor with a win,” McVay said. “Northeast is a scrappy team but thankfully we had Delaney Frater playing for us. She had a huge match and much like Jaiden on Thursday night, we kept feeding her on Saturday and she just kept coming through time and again.”
The final match of the day saw the Raiders complete a 2-1 tournment with a victory over Washington.
“This was a special match for me, as Washington’s head coach and I played college volleyball together at Carl Sandburg College,” McVay said. “It also helped that this as our best match of the day, too.
“We still weren’t playing our best overall volleyball, it was just our best volleyball of the day and I think the girls did a nice job of closing out the tournament getting back to playing closer to our aggressive style.
“Kyra Christensen and Maddy Nemmers stepped up and played well for us all day, too.”