R-S VB girls fall short of goals, but still enjoy successful season

Staff Writer
Story City Herald
R-S VB girls fall short of goals, but still enjoy successful season

—by Todd Thorson

The Roland-Story girls were playing some of their best volleyball of the season down the stretch, but unfortunately they made an early exit out of the 3A Regional tournament; thanks to a hot North Polk team that avenged an earlier season defeat, and thus sending the Norse to the sidelines with a 21-9 overall record.

The girls had tried to motivate themselves with some lofty goals, and for a major portion of the season, appeared ready to achieve a long run through the tournament. They had set their sights on the school record for victories (26) at the beginning of the season, but fell five matches short is all. They had hoped to make it to state as well, but perhaps next season.

But the Norse girls had plenty to be proud of, finishing second in the HOIAC with an 8-1 mark; their only loss coming at the hands of champion Nevada (9-0). The Norsemen also won the Meskwaki and Perry tournaments this year.

Coming in third in the conference behind Nevada and Roland-Story were Gilbert and North Polk at 6-3, followed by Greene County and South Hamilton at 5-4, CMB (3-6), PCM (2-7), Colfax-Mingo (1-8) and Saydel (0-9).

At the end-of-season banquet held recently, team awards were handed out; as voted by the girls themselves. The MVP award went to junior Lauren Himan. The Most Improved Player was junior Taylor Olson. Senior Jennifer Demiter was voted the Best Practice Player. The Hustle Award went to sophomore Kelsey Polaski. Sophomore Alexa Whipple was the Most Inspirational Player. Senior Molly Fink won the Off the Bench Award. The Norse Award was awarded to senior Erin Nuetzman. And the 2014 Team Captain Awards went to Lauren Himan and Taylor Olson.

Letterwinners were announced as well. They included Alexa Whipple, Lauren Himan, Libby Faga, Taylor Olson, Jennifer Demiter, Anna Himan, Molly Fink, Kelsey Polaski, Erin Nuetzman, Schyler Polaski and Manager Kate Faga.

Sisters Lauren and Anna Himan were two of the team leaders this season. Lauren led the squad with 249 kills, while Anna had 210 kills, including 37 blocks. Senior Schyler Polaski had 114 kills and Alexa Whipple slammed down 106 kills. Alexa also had 31 blocks. These four front line players were kept busy at the net all season, and rotated well throughout the nearly 80 sets played. Anna had a team-best kill efficiency of .323. Alexa was at .283 and Lauren had a kill efficiency of .234.

Libby Faga and Molly Fink were the team leaders in assists with 328 and 187, respectively. Libero Jennifer Demiter had a team high 282 digs. Molly, Libby and Jennifer also led the team in the serving department, as they served up at a 95, 93 and 91 percent success rate, respectively. Anna Himan and Schyler Polaski led the team in aces, however, with 64 and 56, respectively.

Other post-season honors were recently handed out by the HOIAC, as well as various all-state selections. Anna and Lauren Himan were named first team all-conference. Libby Faga and Alexa Whipple were selected to the second team all-HOIAC. And Schyler Polaski and Jennifer Demiter earned honorable mention honors in the HOIAC.

The Academic All-Conference Awards were bestowed upon Jennifer Demiter, Libby Faga, Molly Fink, Anna and Lauren Himan, Erin Nuetzman, Schyler Polaski, Lexi Crutchfield, Brittany Hammes, Mari Henrichs, Bryce Holmgren, Kayla Johnston, Alyssa Miller, Taylor Olson and Hope Sievers. Erin Nuetzman was also named Academic All-State. And Anna Himan was selected to play in the state-wide 2013 Senior All-Star event this weekend in Carroll.

The varsity squad was coached by Molly Geise. Pressly Parker also joined Kate Faga on the bench as manager for the team.

J.V. Review

The Norsemen J.V. team also enjoyed a successful season, proving that the future indeed looks bright for Roland-Story volleyball. The Norse finished with an 18-6 record, winning 43 sets and losing only 18.

The J.V. front line had 5 to 6 girls that were rotated in and out of action throughout the season, including Jacey Ellis (88 kills), Kaylee Knutson (55 kills), Kayla Johnston (48 kills), Lexi Georgius (45 kills), Lexi Crutchfield and Chelsey Tinken (41 kills) and Samantha Reisinger (35 kills). Alyssa Miller led in assists with 221, and also had 31 ace serves to lead the team. Brittany Hammes led the Norse with 101 digs, while Jaeda Pitman had 85 digs. As a team, the Norse served at an 86 percent success rate.

Other members of the J.V. squad include Bryce Holmgren, Hope Sievers, Mari Henrichs, Maria Taylor, Jocelyn Carlson, Hanna Henderson, Brooke Huffaker, Maggie Schnurr and Bailey Balmer. Kayla Johnston, Lexi Crutchfield, Chelsey Tinken and Jacey Ellis were also members of the varsity team.

The J.V. girls were coached by Mike Jondle.

Freshman Review

The 9th grade volleyball girls finished with a 4-8 record this season. Members of the freshman team included Natalie Tryon, Dalani Phillips, McKenna Magnuson, Elli Jennings, Megan Sansgaard, Samantha Janvrin, Krista Mehl, Calli Tystahl and Hannah Thiel.

Krista Mehl and Samantha Janvrin led the team in kills with 25 and 12, respectively. Megan Sansgaard had 21 assists to lead that category. And Natalie Tryon had 14 digs. Dalani Phillips also had 12 assists. Tryon led the team with 23 ace serves, and went 50 for 62 from behind the back serving line.

The 9th grade girls were coached by Amy Swenson.