DELHI - Through much of the last half decade, the Springville volleyball team has been one of the most powerful programs in the entire Tri-Rivers Conference.
Each and every year the Orioles have competed for, and often won, league regular season and tournament titles, as well as making long runs in post-season earning berths to the state level.
Last fall, the team was in a bit of a rebuilding mode after graduating one of the greatest and most successful classes in school history.
But, after a sensational run at the Tri-Rivers Conference (TRC) tournament Thursday, Oct. 17, and Saturday, Oct. 19, could Springville be building another dynasty?
Oriole fans sure hope so, and the team looked every bit of that old championship caliber rolling to a 3-0 record during tournament pool play action in Delhi on Thursday, which included a huge triumph over the host and TRC West division champion Wildcats.
“We continued our winning spirit and defeated all three teams at Maquoketa Valley,” said Springville volleyball coach Claude Howard, as the Orioles shocked the home crowd posting a thrilling 21-14, 21-17 triumph over the hosts.
“We had several kids have double-digit this entire week and saw great improvement from freshmen Lily Clark, Nia Howard and Molly Stamp as well a sophomore Morgan Nachazel. Grace Matus reset her own school-record for digs against Alburnett with 32.”
Against the powerful Wildcats, Springville (16-16, 3-4) was able to control tempo pretty much all match long and did not allow Maquoketa Valley to go on any prolonged offensive runs. Clark was huge on both sides of the net for the Orioles drilling a team-best seven kills at the Wildcats offensively, while her five blocks paced the defense, too.
Nachazel came through with six kills and added seven digs while Howard set 17 assists to go with eight more digs.
Stamp led a solid Springville serving corps going a perfect 11-of-11 as the team connected at a 92-percent clip.
The Orioles opened the TRC pool play tournament in Delhi with a resounding 21-14, 21-15 victory over North Linn, as Savannah Nealman (6), Lauren Wilson (6) and Nachazel (5) combined to record 17 of the team’s 18 total kills.
Nachazel added 12 digs and was 10-of-11 serving with three of the team’s six total aces.
Howard set another 17 assists.
Springville completed the pool play sweep and earned the right to advance to the league’s championship bracket after a dominating 21-12, 21-10 blowout win against East Buchanan.
Nachazel slammed down five kills on just 11 attacks as the Orioles were extremely efficient on both sides of the net. Wilson added four kills while Clark tallied three more to go with three blocks on the defensive end.
Howard dished out 14 assists.
Springville opened TRC championship bracket play Saturday in Winthrop against class 1A seventh-ranked Lisbon, and the talented Lions were able to hold off a valiant Oriole effort claiming a 25-17, 25-22 victory.
“We fell in two against Lisbon, but we’re hoping to see them again in the regional final,” Howard said. “We beat Easton Valley in two, so it’s been a good stretch lately finishing the week 5-1.”
Wilson did all she could powering the Springville offense with an impressive nine kills against the Lions on 16 attacks while Nachazel and Nealman added five more each.
Howard set 22 assists while Matus tallied 14 digs in the Oriole back row.
The loss dropped Springville to a tournament-ending match against Easton Valley, where the Orioles rolled to a 21-12, 21-17 victory.
Wilson’s six kills led the offense while Howard had a big match with 12 assists, a 13-of-14 serving match and four aces.
The Orioles’ busy week opened Tuesday, Oct. 15, with the team wrapping TRC regular season action with a 25-20, 25-16, 18-25, 26-24 win at Alburnett.
“This was a great win for our young program, and against a rival,” Howard said. “We had to make a change in our offense due to illness and injury and went to a 5-1 offense with Nia. She handled the pressure well and helped lead the team to the win.”
Howard set a whopping 43 assists in the match while Matus broke her own school record simply not allowing the ball to hit the floor coming up with 32 digs against the Pirates.
Three Oriole hitters tallied double-digit kills as Wilson (12), Nealman (11) and Clark (10) all proved to be too much for the Alburnett defense.
Clark also made things tough on the Pirate offense swatting back an impressive six blocks from the defensive side of the net.
Springville serving also keyed the win as the team connected at a 93-percent clip with Stamp leading the way going a perfect 19-of-19 with one of the team’s five total aces.