Bobcat netters split at Southeast Polk tourney

PLEASANT HILL — The Marshalltown volleyball team made some strides and made it out of the Southeast Polk Tournament with three wins on Saturday.

The Bobcats broke even with a 3-3 record on the day, going 1-2 in pool play before making their way to the finals of the silver bracket. Once there, Marshalltown’s day ended with a 25-11, 26-24 loss to Class 5A No. 12 Indianola.

In pool play, MHS fell to No. 9 Urbandale (21-16, 21-9) and No. 4 Cedar Rapids Jefferson (21-10, 21-12) but defeated Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont (21-18, 21-18). On the back side of the bracket, the Bobcats beat Des Moines East (25-11, 27-25) and previously-ranked Oskaloosa (25-17, 16-25, 15-6) before falling in the consolation finals to Indianola.

“I thought we improved on some things today and started to find a more consistent lineup,” said Marshalltown head coach Chris Brees. “We are learning to compete a bit better, but need to cut down on the unforced errors if we are going to challenge those top ranked teams.

“I was happy that we beat the teams that on paper we should beat. I’m hoping that we have gained some much-needed confidence from those matches, especially winning a deciding set match against a tall Oskaloosa team.”

The Bobcats (4-7) were led on the day by Erica Johnson’s 37 kills, followed by freshmen Autumn Finish with 23 and Hayden Oetker with 13. Yatnia Hernandez added 12 kills and Sophie Younkin pitched in with seven.

Junior setter Madi Finch totaled 81 assists to go with 23 digs, eight kills, two blocks and 36-of-37 serving on the day.

As a team, Marshalltown had 111 kills but 66 swinging errors, settling for a hitting efficiency of just 11.8 percent.

Defensively, Autumn Finch had 13 of the Bobcats’ 23 blocks while Gabby Himes had three and Madi Finch, Tasia Pohle and Hernandez had two apiece.

“Blocking was much improved this weekend and we also moved the ball around better,” said Brees. “If we can cut our hitting errors in half, we should start seeing even more success.”

MHS senior libero Alyvia Chadderdon dug up 48 attacks to pace the defense, while Johnson had 39 digs. Both Kyra Feldman and Mayah Carson contributed 16 digs.

At the service line, Chadderdon was 40-for-47 with a team-high five aces. Carson, Feldman and Kassie McGerr each had three aces, while Johnson served 37-for-41 with one ace. Grace Fisher subbed in to serve 20-for-21 as well.

Marshalltown dives back into CIML action this week with a pair of cross-conference contests, hosting No. 11 Southeast Polk on Tuesday and Ottumwa on Thursday.

“We play some like-minded teams that we should be competitive with as long as we continue to focus on our gameplans,” said Brees.

West beats East in Mustangs’ tournament

LE GRAND — A pair of Marshall County schools met in the seventh-place match, and West Marshall took down East Marshall in straight sets to close out the East Marshall Volleyball Tournament on Saturday.

West Marshall went 0-3 in pool play but bounced back to beat the host Mustangs, 21-10, 24-22, to round out the day. East Marshall was 1-2 in its pool with a victory over Class 1A No. 14 HLV to its credit, but the Mustangs still ended up last in their pool as well. Grace deNeui recorded six-straight aces for West Marshall as the Trojans (5-6) swept East Marshall (7-8) in their first meeting this season.

Two of West Marshall’s three pool-play losses were three-set defeats, as the Trojans fell to Des Moines Christian (19-21, 21-12, 15-13), 2A No. 14 Hudson (21-15, 21-15) and eventual champion Benton Community (21-13, 16-21, 15-4).

For the day, Hana Hohnstein stuffed the stat sheet for the Trojans with 56 assists, 14 digs, seven kills, four service aces and four blocks. Catherine Sjoblom led the West Marshall attack with 26 kills to go along with 22 digs, eight assists and four aces. Morgan Cripps led the defense with 28 digs, while deNeui totaled 18 digs and seven assists.

Teresa Disney contributed 14 kills and four blocks, Renae Schaper added 12 kills, and Addi Moore had six kills and a team-high five blocks.

East Marshall fell to last in its pool despite the upset win over HLV, 22-20, 23-21. The Mustangs lost to 1A No. 15 Iowa Valley (21-11, 21-18) as well as Vinton-Shellsburg (21-18, 21-12) before falling to West Marshall.

Juliana Arifi led the Mustangs with 31 digs, 20 kills, four blocks and four service aces on the day. Genesis Wanatee chipped in 21 digs, 10 kills and two aces, and Macy Frese added four kills and one block.

Karissa Young and Quin Damman each had 14 digs, and the duo added four and two aces, respectively. Zoeie Fontanini tallied 12 digs while Suda Leschin and Bethany Sinn both had a block. Maria Rasmusson ended the day with 35 assists.

East Marshall goes on the road to face BCLUW in Monday’s NICL West contest, while West Marshall waits a week before going to the Waukee Tournament next Saturday.