MHS volleyball puts Polar Bears in deep freeze
A rare event occurred at the Roundhouse on Tuesday night when Marshalltown volleyball squared off with cross CIML foe Des Moines North.
After winning the first two sets handily, the Bobcats went on to sweep the Polar Bears 25-0 in the third set, securing the three-set sweep and the fourth home victory in the last five games for MHS.
Bobcats head coach Chris Brees said his goal at the start of the set wasn’t to run Des Moines North off the court, but that’s what his girls were able to do.
“Of course we don’t expect to serve somebody 25-0 off the court, and that wasn’t the intention, but our intention is to go out and serve aggressive and our intention is to focus on next week’s match against Fort Dodge,” Brees said. “We also have Valley this Saturday, so we can’t just practice things that make players worse at technique. The girls went out and executed and I can’t even say anything more than that. That’s the first time I’ve been a part of a 25-0 not rotating.”
Marshalltown (5-3) earned its fifth win of the season with a 25-5, 25-7, 25-0, demolishing of the Polar Bears, which was owed a lot to some great serving on the night.
The Bobcats recorded 41 total aces in the three sets and had a 95 percent serve efficiency in the match. Senior Kaitlyn Martin had 13 of those aces herself, most of which came in that shutout third set.
Senior Ciara Feldman, who actually had her only failed serve on the first serve of the night, was one of the major catalysts for the 25-0 sweep in the third. She started off in service until nearly midway through the match, when she was subbed out so another girl could get some playing time.
“We are just told to keep it flat and deep and that’s what I tried to do and it worked,” Feldman said of her approach behind the line.
Going into the matchup against Des Moines North (0-4), Feldman said the team knew it wasn’t the toughest opponent they’d face all year, but there were things they wanted to work on to prepare for tougher opponents down the road.
“Even yesterday we were already looking toward our Fort Dodge game and Mason City game coming up next week, so we were just practicing hitting the line and hitting the sharp cross,” she said. “Even in this game when it didn’t really apply, we were just getting ready for our next games.”
It might be hard to believe, but the game honestly could have been more lopsided, as most of the Polar Bear’s points in the first set came off mistakes from Marshalltown. Brees said that was a point of discussion during the team’s break between sets, because making mistakes like that against tougher foes can spell the difference between a win and a loss.
“After game one, we talked about how the score was 25-5 and four of their points were off our serves,” Brees said. “We talked about how we can’t give away points, especially down the road, and I wanted us to work on that. We were able to mix in some short serves too and then some deep serves. We got a lot of aces but we were hitting our zones, and that’s what’s more of the learning experience out of that.”
Marshalltown finished its first home stand 4-1, with a loss against Class 4A No. 6 Waverly-Shell Rock as the only blemish to the home record. Brees said that was a great way to start things off at home, but when the Bobcats hit the road to play in the Southeast Polk Invite, he said they have some things to work on before they play the likes of Fort Dodge and Mason City at home next week.
“Going into this weekend we want to do some things as if we are playing a team like Fort Dodge,” Brees said. “We are playing Valley but we want to play like we are playing Fort Dodge so we get ready for that conference match.”