Nathan Broek | Sports Editor
George-Little Rock 25-25-25 3
MILFORD-The George-Little Rock volleyball team had a rough start to its Siouxland Conference volleyball contest with Okoboji on the road Tuesday, Oct. 2, but it did not take long for the Mustangs to recover and earn a 25-16, 25-10, 25-19 sweep of the Pioneers and spoil their Pink Out Night.
“Outside of the play, I would like to commend the Okoboji volleyball program for their tribute to Pink Out Night,” said George-Little Rock coach Amy Schmidt. “As each player was announced, they also mentioned an individual for whom they were playing for. That brought the event to a personal level and our team thought it was pretty cool.”
For the match, George-Little Rock claimed a 9-point victory in set one, but coach Schmidt said the Mustangs had to make a comeback in order to do it.
“We got off to a very slow start. We were not playing our level of volleyball and lacked a great deal of intensity. Once we figured this out and changed our strategy to meet our needs, we did a great job,” she said.
Schmidt added that there was also a momentum-changing moment in set one.
“It didn’t hurt that there was an illegal rotation on Okoboji’s end that I feel was somewhat of a momentum-changer. They had just taken the lead but because the rotation was wrong, we got the ball back and, at that time, we kept moving forward,” Schmidt said. “There are a lot of situations in this game that can often-times turn the game around and I felt this was one of them at this time in the first set.”
George-Little Rock had a much stronger start in set two, before overcoming another slow start in set three to earn the sweep.
“To start the second set, we were pretty good at keeping the momentum in our court and played well throughout the set. Our girls did a great job of pursing the play and finished strong,” Schmidt said. “Set three, once again, we got off to a slow start and we were trading points for some time until the switch was flipped and we were able to finish the set and match.”
Schmidt said this match showed the importance of getting momentum and keeping it.
“With volleyball being a momentum game it’s important to play at our level and finish the set once we get our offense established,” Schmidt said. “Our intensity level needs to pick up a bit for our match against Sheldon on Thursday (for George-Little Rock’s Pink Out night).”
Makenna Arends led the Mustangs with seven kills. Kaci Klingenberg had four with Rebecca Krull also having four kills. Julia Storm chipped in with three kills. Madilyn Matuska passed for 15 assists. Michaella Johnson passed for seven assists. Kayla Gerken grabbed 10 digs on defense. Mackenzie Fugitt got in on two assisted blocks in the front row. On the service line, Arends went 11-for-12 with two aces. Gerken went 20-for-21 with one ace. Karissa Harms went 8-for-10 with three aces. Johnson went 15-for-15 with two aces. Matuska went 5-for-5 with no aces. Storm went 10-for-10 with two aces.
G-LR finds positives despite 3-0 defeat
Sheldon 25-25-25 3
George-Little Rock 15-19-19 0
GEORGE-George-Little Rock will admit it made a few too many mistakes against Sheldon for Pink Out Night and its Siouxland Conference volleyball match Thursday, Oct. 4, but the Mustangs still felt they played rather competitively with the Orabs.
Sheldon stormed to a 9-1 lead in set one and George-Little Rock was unable to climb out of the early hole.
In game two, the Mustangs held a 4-2 lead, but the Orabs stormed back to tie the game at 6. Both teams then traded points for a majority of the game, before Sheldon took the set on a 9-2 run.
George-Little Rock once again took an early lead in set three at 4-1, but the Orabs once again fought back to tie it at 5-5. Both squads once again traded points with each other in the middle portion, before a big 8-2 run by Sheldon sealed the Mustangs’ fate.
“Sheldon is a very good team and they are coached very well. Overall, we played pretty good. We had a few mental mistakes, but we were able to bounce back pretty well. Had we played at a little higher level I believe we could’ve taken a set, but that wasn’t the case tonight,” said George-Little Rock coach Amy Schmidt. “We did a lot of things well, but not necessarily all at the same time to win points.”
One of the positives stat-wise in this match was the Mustangs’ eight total assisted blocks at the net.
“I felt that our blocking was fairly strong and I was pleased that some of our kids are showing a little more confidence in themselves,” Schmidt said.
Makenna Arends, Kaci Klingenberg and Julia Storm each had four kills to lead George-Little Rock. Rebecca Krull chipped in with three kills. Madilyn Matuska passed for eight assists. On defense, Kayla Gerken grabbed 15 digs. Olivia Johnson and Matuska each had seven digs. Storm chipped in with six. Madison Eben led the front row with three block assists. Mackenzie Fugitt and Klingenberg each had two block assists. On the service stripe, Arends went 8-for-8 with no aces. Gerken went 9-for-9 with no aces. Karissa Harms went 11-for-11 with no aces. Michaella Johnson went 9-for-9 with no aces. Matuska went 5-for-6 with one ace. Storm went 11-for-12 with one ace.