The Garner-Hayfield/Ventura volleyball team dropped its first Class 3A Region 1 contest on Monday night, Oct. 22. Forest City swept the Cardinals, 3-0, with scores of 28-26, 25-12 and 31-29.
“We are obviously disappointed in this loss,” said Coach Tracy Schmidt. “We played our hearts out and left everything on the court. The games were so exciting for the fans with the high scores, but we knew we could have played better.”
Emily Mathews had a stellar night for the Cards with 26 kills, six blocks, 15 digs and an ace serve. Shelby Rayhons contributed eight kills, two blocks, seven digs and an ace serve. Setter Courtney Younge added 31 assists, seven digs, one ace serve and one block. Hannah Hutcheson was perfect at the service line, serving 19/19 with one ace. Bethany Nannenga was also perfect at the line, going 11/11, in addition to her seven digs.
“Bethany played her best defensive match of the year with a couple of very exciting digs that kept the ball alive,” said Schmidt.
Mallory Van Oort picked up 12 digs and was 28/31 on serve receive. Sola Stephenson recorded five kills and was 11/11 hitting with three blocks. Dasi Larson and Sydney Younge came off the bench and had two kills apiece. Miranda Frederick added 10 digs.
“We had 62 digs in three sets, which is an outrageous stat on defense. The volleys went on forever and the defense on both teams kept the ball alive and the fans engaged,” said Schmidt. “When you lose a three set match by a total of eight points, that’s hard to swallow.”
G-H/V will graduate three seniors in Bethany Nannenga, Hannah Hutcheson and Brittani Watson.
“It’s hard to say goodbye to something you love so much and these seniors gave their hearts to our program,” said Schmidt.
G-H/V finished the season with a 21-10 record with those losses coming at the hands of only five teams, with Forest City and Lake Mills accounting for two games apiece. The Cardinals will return six letterwinners for the 2013 season including First Team All-Conference player and NIC Player of the Year Emily Mathews and Second Team All-Concerence selection Courtney Younge.
“We had a great first season with the whole grade sharing,” added Schmnidt. “There were so many positives in the season with the win at our own tournament and making it to Monday night of the Conference Tournament. Even through the ending is tough, we have a lot to build on for next season.”