STATE CENTER - Calling upon its battled-tested group of upperclassmen, no deficit was too large for West Marshall in a 3-0 sweep over South Tama County Tuesday.
Falling into early holes in the first two games and trailing late in the third, West Marshall (9-6, 3-1) always found an answer claiming a 25-17, 27-25, 25-23 NICL West Division victory over South Tama (8-6, 3-2) in the battle of the Trojans.
"We have a bunch of upperclassmen that have been in these situations before. They can get down, but they always seem to rally back," said West Marshall Coach Mike Eckhardt.
T-R PHOTO BY TYLER STRAND
West Marshall’s Whitney Benson (5) tries for the tip over South Tama County defenders Trisha Walz, left, and Samantha Holtz during Tuesday’s NICL West Division clash in State Center. The host Trojans defeated the visiting Trojans in three, 25-17, 27-25, 25-23.
The visitors jumped out to a 7-3 advantage in the opening game before the home team rallied back to claim a 13-12 edge midway through. West Marshall scored 12 of the final 17 points to wrap up the first game.
It was a similar story in the second game as South Tama took control with a 7-1 lead, before West Marshall turned the tide with a 12-5 run. Neither squad led by more than two the rest of the way as West Marshall squeaked out a 27-25 decision to gain a 2-0 advantage.
West Marshall carried the momentum into the third game grabbing a 7-2 lead, before South Tama responded with a 16-9 flurry to grab an 18-16 edge. West Marshall scored the next four points and never trailed again en route to the sweep.
Tuesday's Area Scores
BCLUW 25-25-24-25, East Marshall 12-20-26-12
Colo-NESCO 25-25-25, Waterloo Christian School 22-19-12
Don Bosco 25-25-25, North Tama 20-10-15
Gladbrook-Reinbeck 25-25-25, AGWSR 20-21-17
Grundy Center 25-25-25, South Hardin 12-14-21
Meskwaki Settlement 24-25-25-23-15, GMG 26-19-18-25-13
West Marshall 25-27-25, South Tama 17-25-23
Kaitlyn Nichols led West Marshall with 10 kills and two aces. Sydney Beals added eight kills, McKenna Hotopp had seven and Whitney Benson chipped in six. Alarie Craven dished out 19 assists and Kelsiann Halbloom came up with 10 digs.
"We don't have the greatest record this year, but all six of our losses have been close and to ranked teams. These guys play well together and don't get down on each other, " said Eckhardt.
Seeing her squad struggle under pressure this year, South Tama coach Michelle Bradley had some positives to take away from the match.
"I thought our attitude on the court was so much better than I've seen. We've been struggling with some mental aspects of our game, but tonight our girls didn't quit," said Bradley.
Jade Rohach paced South Tama with 10 kills, 12 digs and five blocks. Shelby Bradley had 12 assists and Madison Baack had 11. Trisha Walz came up with 15 digs and Samantha Holtz 11.
West Marshall will compete in the Nevada Tournament Saturday, while South Tama will host an eight-team tourney that same day.
Grundy Center 3, South Hardin 0
ELDORA - Sam Meyers had 17 kills and Stephanie Faust added seven as Class A No. 1-ranked Grundy Center swept South Hardin, 25-12, 25-14, 25-21, in NICL West play.
Heather Hook doled out 37 assists and was 13-for-14 with three aces serves to lead the Spartans (17-2, 4-0). Riley Sents made 18 digs and Hook led with three blocks.
Grundy Center goes to the Cedar Falls Tournament on Saturday while South Hardin (3-9, 1-3) travels to Boone.
BCLUW 3, East Marshall 1
CONRAD - Reeba Box had 11 kills and 13 digs to lead BCLUW (5-11, 2-2) to an NICL West win, 25-12, 25-21, 24-26, 25-12.
Olivia Callaway added nine kills and Haley Veldhouse had seven. Nicolette Simpson had 25 assists while Raelynn Aicher served 20-for-20 with four aces.
Claire Johnson had nine kills and five blocks to lead East Marshall (1-9, 0-4). Madisen Hinegardner had 19 digs, Haley Long had 11 assists, and Sam Earley served 18-for-21 with five aces.