STORY CITY — The Roland-Story volleyball team learned it’s tough to make mistakes and win against a quality team in its Heart of Iowa Conference opener against Nevada Sept. 12.


The Norsemen struggled with consistency both serving the ball and at the net against the defending conference champions. As a result they were swept by scores of 25-23, 25-20 and 25-19 to fall to 6-3 on the season.


“We’re not happy with how we played,” Roland-Story head coach Molly Geise said. “We missed a lot more serves than we typically do and we had a lot of hitting errors, which was due to our passing not being as good as it has been. But give them credit for taking us out of our game.”


Roland-Story started off the match strong. They led the first set 11-7 following a tip-kill from Amy Rathmacher.


Nevada eventually moved in front 21-19. A Nevada net violation and Juliann Clark kill evened up the score, but a Norsemen serving error followed by a Kacie Rewerts block swung momentum back to the Cubs and they went on to prevail.


In the second set Nevada was in control from the start. The Cubs took a 7-2, eventually pushed its lead to seven and never let the Norsemen get closer than four in cruising to victory.


Roland-Story regrouped to take a 6-2 lead to start the third set behind strong serving from Ava Charlson. But Nevada tied the score at 13-13 then went on an 8-2 run and the Norsemen couldn’t recover.


Roland-Story only had a kill-efficiency rate of 0.068 in the match, finishing with 23 kills and 17 errors in 88 attacks. Nevada compiled 11 blocks to make life difficult for the Norsemen at the net.


Serving was also an issue for Roland-Story. The Norsemen were 54 of 64 with just six aces compared to a 90-percent serving effort by Nevada.


“We need to get those in,” Geise said. “That’s something we pride ourselves on. We served 84 percent and we know we have to be at least 90. That didn’t help our cause.”


But not all is lost. It’s still early in the season and Roland-Story still has plenty of goals it can achieve.


“We talked about not letting one game define us,” Geise said. “Obviously wanted to win this game. But we have a lot of games coming up and we want to learn from it. We’d rather play a team of that caliber than to get an easy win.”


Rathmacher had 11 kills and nine digs, Clark four kills and 10 digs, Charlson 10 digs and three aces and Madison Geise 20 assists and two kills for the Norsemen. Madison Martindale added two kills and blocks apiece, Reagan Barkema three kills, Reece Johnson one kill and dig apiece, Megan Greenfield one block and Reagan Schmitz seven digs.


Nevada improved to 7-5. All five Cub losses have come against ranked Class 5A and 4A teams.


Rewerts had 15 kills,14 digs and three blocks for Nevada. SydneyMosinski added 11 kills and four blocks and Hannah Thomsen 13 digs, eight kills and two aces.