BELLE PLAINE - East Marshall entered as the only team without a match already under its belt, and the Mustang volleyball team left as the only squad without a victory, too.
East Marshall went 0-2 at its season-opening event, a four-team mini-tournament hosted by Belle Plaine on Monday night.
The Mustangs were defeated by the hosts, 14-25, 25-14, 19-17 in the first round, and then fell 25-15, 25-17 to North Tama in the consolation match.
Leading the way for East Marshall was Claire Johnson, who totaled 14 kills and five blocks. Katie Roseland racked up 11 kills and nine digs, while Callie Roseland had six kills and five digs.
Libero player Madisen Hinegardner led the team with 15 digs on the night.
Ashley Allen had 17 assists and Haley Long added 14 more. Sam Earley finished 9-of-11 serving and added three kills, while Allen was 8-for-9 serving with three kills.
Meriel Leavy and Kelsea Anderson both chipped in with two blocks at the net.
East Marshall plays its home opener on Thursday night in Le Grand, entertaining Hudson in cross-NICL action.
Spartans start title chase
The Grundy Center volleyball team has seen its last two seasons stopped in the Class 2A state semifinals against Western Christian.
This year, such a finish is not even possible.
Grundy Center has dropped down to Class 1A and has been pegged as the top-ranked team in the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union rankings after last year's 42-2 campaign.
The Spartans graduated five starters among their six seniors, but return four regulars to a rotation that was among the most potent attacking teams in the state last fall.
Grundy Center opens its season tonight with a home quadrangular including AGWSR, Hudson and West Branch starting at 5:30 p.m.
Northern Iowa commit Heather Hook returns at setter and Sam Meyers, the Times-Republican's 2011 All-Area Player of the Year, will be back on the attack again.
Also returning to mix will be senior right-side hitter Riley Ackerman and sophomore Libero player Riley Sents as Grundy Center goes in search of its fourth straight NICL West Division crown.
The Spartans have won 19 matches and 51 sets in a row in conference play.