Bobcat volleyball goes 2-1 in Apgar Tourney
Though it didn’t quite have as many teams attending as it has in recent years, the Marshalltown volleyball team hosted its annual Apgar Varsity Volleyball Tournament on Thursday, and the Bobcats represented themselves well by going 2-1 in their three games.
Marshalltown started off the day defeating Des Moines Roosevelt, taking down the Roughriders in two sets, 21-8, 21-13, and the Bobcats finished their tournament with a win over Southeast Polk, overpowering the Rams for a second time in three days, 21-15, 21-9. Sandwiched between those two wins was a loss to Class 4A No. 6 Waverly-Shell Rock, 21-13, 21-15.
MHS head coach Chris Brees said his girls had an outstanding day on the court, especially considering they had such a short time to prepare for two of their opponents.
“We came out and played very well, I was anxious to see how we would respond after Tuesday night because there wasn’t a lot of turnaround time,” he said once the fans had cleared out from the Roundhouse on Thursday. “We did have a lot of footage on Roosevelt, so I felt we were prepared we just didn’t have very many nights to plan. Then obviously I wanted to see how we would respond coming back out against Southeast Polk, are we just going to take them for granted? We started a little slow in game one but in game two we just took it to them.”
In the opening win against Des Moines Roosevelt (7-9), Marshalltown (4-3) was dominant in almost every statistical category. They out-attacked the Roughriders 28 kills to 12, the Bobcats out-dug them 41-37 and they out-assisted Roosevelt 27-12.
Brees said the major factor in winning against Roosevelt, a team physically larger than his Bobcat, was the way his girls handled the ball.
“What we work on and what we execute is ball control, ball control, ball control, ball control, and that is what we did against Roosevelt consistently,” he said. “We frustrated them, and then they started making hitting errors. We just aren’t big, so we talk about putting the ball in play and making them make mistakes and when it’s your time to get a kill, get a kill.”
Seniors Regan Mazour and Ciara Feldman led the way in kills against the Roughriders with nine apiece, while Mazour also led in digs with 14. Sophomore Madi Finch continued her strong transition to the setter position with 26 kills in the match.
Against Waverly-Shell Rock (8-1), the Bobcats faced what Brees called “a darn good team,” but the girls managed to hold their own better than either of the other two squads in attendance did against the Go-Hawks.
Mazour and Feldman once again were the dominant forces on the attack with eight and six kills respectively, while Feldman led the way with seven digs in the match, followed by Mazour’s five.
After watching the Go-Hawks take on his team, Brees said he wants to try and emulate their style of up-tempo play to negate some of the size disadvantages his Bobcats will face down the line.
“We have to be a Waverly, we have to speed up our offense,” he said. “We are getting much better at that, I am very impressed with how we’ve done in a short time of working on that.”
In the final match against Southeast Polk (3-8), MHS definitely struggled a bit to open up the first set, but once the girls got rolling they handled the Rams much like they did in their matchup on Tuesday evening.
Feldman was the top attacker in the match with a tourney-high 10 kills, while seniors Molly Bach and Emily Haas and sophomore Erica Johnson each mixed in two kills of their own.
Nelson said he was proud of the way Feldman played all tournament both offensively and defensively.
“Ciara played really well today, she hit a lot of balls out of the back row and dug a lot of balls for us,” he said. “We lost Regan at the end of game two against Southeast Polk, so Ciara stepped it up huge and we had a ton of other girls play well. Emily Haas stepped it up huge, Sarah Jacobs served six or seven in a row and that was great.”
After going 3-1 to open play at home this season, Brees said he can’t help but feel good about how his team is meshing early on this season, but he doesn’t want the girls to get too comfortable and stop working on things that will be important as they get into the tough CIML Iowa Conference play.
“Our thing is we can’t get complacent and we can’t get ahead of ourselves,” he said. “We have Des Moines North next Tuesday, which is a very beatable team. We know that and we know other people are going to get in to play, so we have to use that to our advantage. We have to work on more playsets and we have to speed it up.”
Apgar Volleyball Tournament
Team Standings — 1. Waverly-Shell Rock 3-0, 2. Marshalltown 2-1, 3. Des Moines Roosevelt 1-2, 4. Southeast Polk 0-3.
Marshalltown def. Des Moines Roosevelt, 21-8, 21-12
Waverly-Shell Rock def. Southeast Polk, 21-10, 21-9
Waverly-Shell Rock def. Marshalltown 21-13, 21-15
Des Moines Roosevelt def. Southeast Polk, 22-20, 21-19
Marshalltown def. Southeast Polk, 21-15, 21-9
Waverly-Shell Rock def. Des Moines Roosevelt, 21-17, 21-8