SPRINGVILLE - It’s just what the Springville volleyball program does, year after year after year.
Not only have the Orioles competed for and won numerous Tri-Rivers Conference championships over much of the last decade, but when it comes to regional playoff success, Springville knows how to get the job done there too.
So, when the Orioles claimed a 25-13, 25-15, 25-23 triumph over a pesky Cedar Valley Christian team in a class 1A regional quarter-final match Monday, Oct. 28, it was same old same old for Springville fans as the Oriole program advanced to the regional semi-final round for an impressive seventh year in a row.
“We came out tonight in our last home game and executed the game plan very well in the first set,” said Springville volleyball coach Claude Howard, who has seen the program through all of the success during the impressive seven-year run.
“I was proud of the kids for really going out and trying to place the ball in areas we knew we could get easy points, and then also hit the ball well, too.”
But, even after dominating the first two sets against the Huskies, the visitors didn’t go down without a fight in the third set.
Springville (18-16) cruised to wins in the first two sets by taking control early and never looking back, but in the third set things were different almost immediately.
“The third set showed CVC deciding to drop five players to defense to improve digging and use one blocker,” Howard said. “It took our team a while to adjust and understand the advantage we had, which shows the youth of our group and how difficult it can be to relay information from the sideline.
“During my last timeout I told the kids they were beating themselves. I pulled my setter Nia Howard and made some offensive adjustments which Nia executed and helped get us from being down 19-15. When we tied the game at 19-19 and CVC called a timeout, I told the kids it was a game to six and we had the momentum to be the more aggressive team to end the match.”
The Orioles came through exactly as ordered, though it wasn’t easy.
Cedar Valley Christian took their first lead of the match when they scored the first point of the set and stretched their advantage to 9-5 before Howard was forced to call a timeout to try and cool the hot Huskie rally.
It worked, for a while, as Oriole Morgan Nachazel drilled back-to-back kills following the timeout before Cedar Valley Christian bounded back scoring five of the set’s net six points taking a 14-9 lead. The visitors continued their run taking a 19-14 lead forcing Howard to call another timeout.
Once again, it worked.
Nachazel drilled back-to-back kills and after a Cedar Valley Christian error, Lily Clark followed with yet another kill for the Oriole offense.
All of a sudden, the score was tied 19-19, and back and forth the two teams went to the finish.
Nachazel, Clark and Howard all tallied huge kills as Springville took a 23-20 lead, but back came the Huskies yet again knotting the score at 23-23 before an enormous Cedar Valley Christian service error gave the hosts a 24-23 advantage and an opportunity to end the match.
The Orioles did it when Nachazel drilled the last of her team-high 12 total kills to send the team to the semi-final round at Belle Plaine Thursday, Oct. 31.
“Love the CVC coaches and kids,” Howard said. “It was sad to see Abby Pospisil leave high school volleyball. She is a great kid and will be missed.”
Springville opened the match with the Huskies scoring 12 of the first 13 points and held a huge 22-6 advantage before the visitors made a mini run going on a 7-3 spurt as the hosts closed the first set win with a Clark kill.
The Orioles did much of the same in the second set as well, leading 14-5 before Cedar Valley Christian began working their way back into the match getting to within six points before a Nia Howard ace wrapped the set.
Clark added nine kills for the Springville offense while Savannah Nealman added eight kills to go with a sensational 21-of-21 serving night that included four of the team’s 10 total aces.
Howard added three aces and was 12-of-12 from the line as the team connected on an impressive 95-percent of their serves.