(Above) Macy Mixdorf gets under a hit during Thursday night’s game against Iowa Falls-Alden. Chloe Mueller is ready to lend a hand. Mueller led the team defensively with 15 digs. -Reporter photo by Chris Barragy
Iowa Falls-Alden (28-5, 7-0) showed why they are the North Central Conference champion. The Cadets swept the Clear Lake girls 25-18, 25-25, 26-16, Thursday, Oct. 12.
“The girls came out fired up tonight against the NCC champs. It was fun to watch them play,” said Coach Richie Ellis. “It was Senior Night so all of the seniors got some playing time. It was nice to see them play one last time on their home court.”
Maranda Harrison was the leading hitter on the night with seven kills. She was also 6/7 serving.
Chloe Mueller also had a good night defensively with 15 digs. She was 6/6 from the service line.
Julia Merfeld put in 11 of 12 serve attempts, while Kayla Ritter went 9/9 and Jenna Wilkinson and Macy Mixdorf were each 7/7 serving. Wilkinson also had three blocks in the match, while Mixdorf recorded two blocks. Senior Rachel Barrillas helped the team by going 3/3 serving.
The Lions ended the NCC season with an 0-7 record.
Coach Ellis said he was confident his team would pick up a couple of wins at Saturday’s tournament in Algona to help get the team ready for Regional play tonight (Wednesday, Oct. 18) in Garner against Garner-Hayfield-Ventura.
The Lions did just what Coach Ellis hoped at Saturday’s Algona Tournament, as they started off the day rebounding well from a first set loss of 21-9 to come back with two straight set wins to beat Spencer, 9-21, 21-16, 15-11.
Mikayla Vanderploeg had a strong game for the Lions with seven kills. Maranda Harrison had four kills to go along with her 7/7 serving. Jenna Wilkinson had a team-high 13/13 serving.
Next up for the Lions was North Central Conference foe Algona. The Bulldogs rolled, 21-16, 21-10.
“I didn’t feel that we were ever out of the match. We were competing well,” said Coach Ellis.
The team recorded 13 kills in the match, led by Kayla Ritter with four and Vanderploeg with three. Julia Merfeld was credited with 11 assists. Chloe Mueller and Vanderploeg had six and five digs respectively. Macy Mixdorf was 7/8 from the service line.
After a break, the Lions faced Sheldon and once again lost in two, but were competitive with set scores of 21-19 and 21-17. Vanderploeg continued to play well, leading with four kills. Merfeld helped set her up and had 10 assists. In addition to her 13 digs, Mueller was 9/10 serving. Wilkinson was a perfect 10/10.
The fourth match of the day for the Lions was against Carroll. History repeated itself, as the team dropped the match by the same scores as they did against Sheldon. Vanderploeg had seven kills, while Harrison had four jills and was 7/7 serving. Wilkinson stayed hot at the service line, going 13/13. Mueller had 10 digs and was 8/8 serving.
After another short break the Lions faced a very good Forest City team. Clear Lake ended up taking the first set against them, but dropped the match 2-1. Scores were 16-21, 21-15, 15-7.
“That set win was a big confidence boost for our team, showing them that we are improving. Forest City beat us pretty easily a week ago,” noted Coach Ellis.
Ritter and Vanderploeg led the Lions attack with six and five kills respectively. Harrison put down four and was 8/8 serving.