PLEASANT HILL - Marshalltown had trouble with the first phase, meaning little to no success was going to come out of the rest.
The Bobcat volleyball team struggled mightily with its serve-receive on Tuesday night, turning their trip to Southeast Polk into a swift three-set loss, 25-11, 25-10, 25-14.
The host Rams (14-2), whose only losses this season have come against Class 5A No. 7 Urbandale and 4A No. 6 Indianola, took care of business when Marshalltown couldn't. The Bobcats struggled with the first step of their offense and never mounted much of an attack as a result.
"We definitely have some areas we need to get more confident in, and those are the areas we will be attacking in practice," said MHS coach Terri Westendorf. "We need to get our confidence up on our serve-receive, because it's not for a lack of ability, it's a lack of confidence right now. I feel the girls are capable, they just have to believe they are."
Marshalltown (5-10) showed marked improvement in the serving department, finishing the night 34-for-36 as a team with three aces. But returning serve made for more work than the Bobcats could handle, and the team ended up hitting at a negative percentage. MHS had 12 kills and 13 errors in 60 attempts.
Leiah Paustian led the Bobcats with five kills, seven digs and also served 5-for-5. Rachel Whaley contributed three kills, five digs and served 7-for-7. Emily Rebik chipped in two kills and had a team-leading two service aces.
Libero player Sharissa Stansberry also had seven digs, and Sam Hughes had the team's only solo block at the net. Amanda Hughes led the way with four assists.
The Bobcats attend the Cedar Falls Tiger Invitational on Saturday. MHS is pooled with Waterloo East, Cedar Rapids Washington and Class 2A's top-ranked Dike-New Hartford.
BCLUW 3, East Marshall 2
LE GRAND - BCLUW kept control of second place in the NICL West Division with a five-set victory over host East Marshall on Tuesday night, rallying from a 2-1 deficit for a 25-14, 24-26, 21-25, 25-11, 15-9 triumph.
The Comets (8-8, 3-1) were led by Nicole Montgomery and Olivia Callaway with 11 kills apiece, while Hannah Sams and Kendall Scurr both contributed seven kills. Haley Veldhouse added six kills.
Bobbi Paper handed out 18 assists and led BCLUW at the service line, going 35-for-35 with two aces. Nicolette Simpson tallied 14 assists and was 11-for-11 with one ace.
Mallory Vawter totaled 18 digs and Callaway had 14. Callaway and Sams led with three blocks apiece.
Claire Johnson paced East Marshall (2-10, 0-4) with 11 kills and two blocks, while Meriel Leavy had six kills. Kelsea Anderson chipped in four kills and a block while serving 11-for-12 with two aces. Sam Earley and Brooke Miller both had three kills.
Madisen Hinegardner totaled 37 digs and served 16-for-19 with two aces. Ashley Allen had 25 assists, and Haley Long made 15 digs.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck 3, AGWSR 0
REINBECK - After edging out the first game, the Rebels took care of business in the next two for a 26-24, 25-17, 25-18 sweep over AGWSR in NICL West Division action Tuesday.
Britney Keller led Gladbrook-Reinbeck with 13 kills and seven digs, while Ellie Stoakes had seven kills and four blocks. Alyssa Christopher came up with 17 digs and Hayley Weber recorded 18 digs, six kills, and served 15-of-19 with five aces. Jenny Schildroth distributed 26 assists and G-R totaled nine service aces.
The Rebels (6-9, 2-2) defeated the Cougars (5-12, 1-3) for the second time in four days after besting them 2-1 in G-R's tournament Saturday.
Alexa Johnson had eight kills, Ashley Sicard tallied six and Madison Fryslie had five to go with seven digs for AGWSR. Olivia Ingledue chipped in nine digs, Kim Ellingson had a team-best nine assists and Becca Wiarda and Abbie Young each dished out seven assists. Sicard converted 8-of-9 serves for two aces.
G-R travels to the Boone Tournament Saturday, while the Cougars head to North Butler Thursday.
GMG 3, Meskwaki 0
GARWIN - Olivia Barritt had eight kills and three blocks to lead GMG to a 25-19, 25-15, 25-17 sweep of Meskwaki in Iowa Star Conference play.
Caitlin Appelgate had six kills and three blocks to go with five service aces. Jennifer Borota led the Wolverines (4-6, 2-1) with 16 digs, and Mikaella Koster had 11 assists.
Waterloo Christian 3, Colo-NESCO 0
WATERLOO - Caitlyn Riese had nine kills to lead the visiting Royals (6-9, 2-1) in their first Iowa Star loss.