The Clear Lake volleyball team dove into the 2018 season with six matches at the Clarion Tournament Saturday. The Lions finished with a record of 2-4 in match play and a 7-8 set record.
“Overall, I was very pleased with the way we played Saturday,” said Coach Richie Ellis. “We took three very good teams to three sets, unfortunately losing in three to all of them. The girls did a great job at staying positive all day long. We are definitely moving in the right direction this season.”
The Lions sandwiched wins over Belmond-Klemme and Eagle Grove between losses to Clarion-Goldfield-Dows, North Butler, Harris-Lake Park and South Hamilton.
In the Belmond-Klemme match, the Lions prevailed, 21-11, 21-8. The Lions dominated at the net with 15 kills. Leading the way was Maranda Harrison with six and Delaney Eden with four. Macy Mixdorf and Sara Faber had two apiece, while Allexa Whitehouse had one.
Julia Merfeld was credited with 11 assists and Kennedy Kollenbach had five. At the service line, Jenna Nelson recorded six aces. Mixdorf contributed three and Kollenbach had two.
The Lions’ 21-10, 21-7 win over Eagle Grove was helped by seven aces by Harrison. Merfeld and Kollenbach had six and three assists respectively. Harrison knocked down three kills. Mixdorf and Faber each had two, and Whitehouse had one kill.
Clear Lake opened with a 21-11 win in their match with North Butler, but game two got away from the Lions and they fell by a score of 21-18. North Butler got the match win with a 15-7 score in game three. Harrison was again a force at the net with six kills. The senior also had two aces. Merfeld made two assists and had two aces. Kollenbach made a team-high eight assists. Whitehouse was the leader in aces with three.
The scoring scenario repeated itself in Clear Lake’s match with Harris-Lake Park. The Lions captured the opening game, 21-13, but then fell, 21-19 and 15-8. The Lions used a well-rounded attack, with five players having two or more kills. Harrison and Mixdorf led the way with three apiece. Merfeld supplied six assists. Harrison and Jenna Nelson had two aces apiece for the team.
South Hamilton was the other team to emerge with a 2-1 victory over the Lions. Clear Lake won the first game, 21-12, but stumbled in game two, 21-11, before dropping a heart-breaker game three, 17-15. Harrison, Mixdorf and Eden had five kills apiece for the Lions. Mikayla VanderPloeg added three and Whitehouse had one. Merfeld and Kollenbach had eight and seven assists respectively. Harrison topped the team in aces with four.
Host Clarion-Goldfield-Dows was the only team to sweep the Lions, 2-0. The Cowgirls posted scores of 21-15 and 21-11. Clear Lake’s front line of Mixdorf, Faber and VanderPloeg had three kills each. Harrison added two. Merfeld contributed nine assists.
Coach Ellis said he looks forward to seeing how his team matches up with Humboldt Thursday. “It will be a good measuring stick where we are,” he said. The Lions are on the road against the Wildcats. Their first home meet will be Tuesday, Sept. 4 against Webster City.