After breezing through their first four matches of the season, the Spring Grove girls experienced an upgrade in quality of competition at the Sept. 18 Waukon Tournament where the Lions (7-2) won three matches and dropped a pair. However, pool play did begin with 2-0 runaways over Central Elkader and Postville before Spring Grove experienced a 2-0 loss to Waukon. The Lions bounced back to subdue Crestwood (Cresco) to earn another shot at Waukon. The rematch was more competitive, decided by an extra third set before the Indians prevailed again, this time 2-1.
SG 2, Central Elkader 0 (21-9, 21-15)
The Lions hit with so-so15% efficiency, while the Warriors had more attacking errors (10) than kills (9). The Lions thwarted the Warrior attack with 6 scoring blocks, including one solo block and 3 assists by Brielle Neeley. Rachel Normann was in on 3 blocks while assisting on 11 of the Lions’ 15 kills. Kenadee Gerard served 10 for 10 with 2 aces and put away 4 kills at the net. Spring Grove dominated the first set but trailed 8-7 in the second set before taking eight of the next 10 points.
SG 2, Postville 0 (21-7, 21-9)
Lion hitting efficiency blossomed to 20%, and the girls had 12 aces while serving strong 93% accuracy. The Pirates scored only six points on their own play. When the Pirates attacked, the Lions scored more points with blocks (9) than Postville did with kills (6). Six different Lions were credited with blocks. Gerard led scoring with 2 kills, 2 blocks and 2 ace serves. Neeley attacked 3 times with 3 kills (100%) and contributed to 3 scoring blocks.
Waukon 2, SG 0 (21-13, 21-15)
Waukon was a step-up in quality and made only 9 errors while posting 30 scoring plays. The Indians hit with a good 30% efficiency (22 kills, 5 errors) and served 93% with 6 aces (3 errors). The Lions hit with 14% efficiency (16 kills, 9 misfires) and served only 83% – a rare match with more errant serves (5) than aces (3). Maggie Lile led the passing and defense with 9 of the 24 Lion digs; Gerard had a team-high 6 kills.
SG 2, Crestwood 0 (21-15, 21-17)
Sprig Grove was the superior serving team with a season-high 95% accuracy and four times as many aces (8) as errors (2). The Cadet servers floundered at 79% with 7 errors and only 4 aces. However, it was a hitting stalemate at the net with both putting away 16 kills with 9 miscues (13% efficiency). But the Lions had a 3-to-0 margin in scoring blocks.
Gerard served 11 for 11 with 2 aces; Sydney Holland served 8 for 9 with 3 instant winners. Addyson McHugh led in kills (6) and digs (6). Lydia Solum scored with 3 kills (on only 7 attacks, team-high 43%), 2 blocks and an ace serve (100%, 7 for 7).
Waukon 2, SG 1 (21-16, 21-23, 15-11)
The Lions were more competitive the second time around against the host team. Grove had 26 kills (12% efficiency) to Waukon’s 25 and outscored the Indians with blocks, 3 to 2. While the Lions were more efficient at the net (12% to 9%),Waukon won with serving. The home team outscored SG by only seven points overall with a decisive 12-point advantage at the service line, where the Lions faltered at 88% with 6 errors (2 aces). Meanwhile, the Indians served an amazing 98% with 9 aces (1 error).
In set one, Lion errors allowed Waukon to take a 4-0 lead. The Indians would never trail and go on to win by five, 21-16. In set two, the Lions led 12-3 before Waukon caught up at 16-all and then took the lead. It was tied again at 18, 20 and 21 before kills by Neeley and McHugh won it at 23-21. Waukon never trailed in the deciding third set (15-11), which ended appropriately with an ace serve.
Lile paced the defense with 18 digs while sparking the offense with solid serve-receive/passing and 3 set assists. Normann assisted on 21 of the 25 kills. Gerard led scoring with 9 kills, a block and 2 service aces.
Waukon would advance to the finals before falling to champion Decorah.
Spring Grove Volleyball 2021 (varsity approximately 7:15 p.m.)
7-2 (4-0 SEC)
W vs. Southland 3-0
W at Lyle/Pacelli 3-0
W at Schaeffer Academy 3-0
Thur. Sept. 9 Lanesboro, postponed until Oct. 11
Tues. Sept. 14 at Houston, postponed
W vs. Glenville-Emmons 3-0
at Waukon Tournament
W vs. Central Elkader 2-0
W vs. Postville 2-0
L vs. Waukon 0-2
W vs. Crestwood 2-0
L vs. Waukon 10-2
Mon. Sept. 20 at Mabel-Canton
Thur. Sept. 23 at Grand Meadow
Sat. Sept. 25 at Dassel-Cokato Tournament 8 a. m.
Thur. Sept. 30 Schaeffer Academy
Tues. Oct. 5 at Lanesboro
Thur. Oct. 7 Kingsland
Tues. Oct. 12 Houston
Thur. Oct. 14 Mabel-Canton
Sat. Oct. 16 at Goodhue Tournament 9 a.m.
Mon. Oct. 18 at LeRoy-Ostrander