Roland-Story girls keep rollin’!

Staff Writer
Story City Herald
Roland-Story girls keep rollin’!

—by Todd Thorson

The Roland-Story girls kept their No. 12 ranking for a second week in a row, as they posted two more match victories over South Hamilton and Colfax-Mingo last week, both at home. The Norse are now 13-4 and have won 10 of their last 11 matches.

R-S 3, South Hamilton 0

Despite not playing at their best, the Norsemen girls disposed of their pesky rivals, the South Hamilton Hawks, last Tuesday night (Sept. 30) at Story City. The Norse posted wins of 25-22, 25-18 and 25-21, but they didn’t come easy.

The Norsemen were able to maintain the lead through most of the three set match, but did have a couple of lapses midway through sets 2 and 3. In game three, the Norse led 6-3 and 7-5 but lost the momentum shortly thereafter.

“Although I didn’t feel we we were ‘on our game’, we seemed to maintain the lead and upper hand until midway through game two., when we trailed severl times by a point or two,” explained Coach Molly Geise. “But as a good team will do, we figured a way to get the ‘W’. I was happy with the way the girls figured out how to finish the games with a ‘W’, even though things weren’t going as planned.”

Lauren Himan and Alexa Whipple led the Norse attack with 24 for 28 and 18 for 27 performances at the net. Lauren also had 16 kills, while Alexa had five kills. Taylor Olson played well at the net as well, going 12 for 13 with four kills. Kelsey Polaski had 24 assists. And Alexa, Lauren and Alyssa Miller had 19, 11 and 11 digs, respectively.

The Norse struggled a bit again from the serving line, going 59 for 72 for 82 percent. Alexa was 14 for 17 with four aces. Lauren went 12 for 14 with two aces. And Lexi Georgius was 10 for 14 in serves with three aces.

Leading the way for the Hawks (12-6) was Alyssa Hegland, who went 16 for 18 in attacks, with eight kills.

“You could feel our talk on the court, and our intensity just wasn’t quite there from the beginning,” added Geise. “It wasn’t attitude, it just seemed our excitement just wasn’t there. We need to get excited about every point, whether the other team serves in the net or we smash it to the ground for a kill. We had a few balls drop between players and things happened that normally don’t. Our serving percentage was the weakest of the year at 82 percent. We missed first serves and serves after time outs. Those are ones you do your best never to miss. But we take those mistakes and learn from them. South Hamilton started to block us well and that affected our mentality. We became a little passive and started to push the ball over instead of hit.”

R-S 3, Colfax-Mingo 0

Colfax-Mingo was over matched against the much stronger Norsemen on Thursday night (Oct. 2) in Story City, as the home team wasted little time cruising by the Tigerhawks 25-9, 25-10 and 25-11. The Norse controlled the match from the start, as the C-M girls were no match for the 12th ranked R-S girls. Nearly the entire varsity squad saw action for the Norsemen.

Lauren Himan went 23 for 26 in attacks, with 17 kills, as she continues to dominate her time at the net. Alexa Whipple was 7 for 9 in the attack zone, with five kills. Kelsey Polaski had 23 assists. Alexa dug out 11 returns by C-M. Lauren had seven digs, while Taylor Olson dug out six.

The Norsemen’s kill efficiency was at .423, which meant that for nearly every two attempts, one was a kill. The Norse had only six hitting errors on the night, and their serving was much improved from their previous match against South Hamilton.

The Norsemen served at an 87 percent clip (62 for 71), with 13 aces. Alexa led the serving charge with an impressive 22 for 23 performance from the back line, and issued four aces in the process. Lauren was 11 for 12 with five aces.

Colfax-Mingo was led by Dakota Hostetter and Ries Wilson, who went 13 for 14 and 10 of 11 at the net, with four kills each. The Tigerhawks are 2-13 this season, and have now lost 10 in a row.

“The girls did a good job controlling our side of things,” said Coach Geise. “Colfax-Mingo is a weaker team, but with weaker teams you see unorthodox balls that come your way. But, for the most part, and just shortly into the game, we adjusted and played our game.”

Coach Geise also singled out the continued all-around solid play of her leader, Lauren Himan:: “Lauren makes others better around her, which has been the difference maker in our 10 out of 11 match winning streak. She does carry a heavy load of the stats, but the girls around her are getting better every day as well, and without their passes, sets, serves, etc., we wouldn’t be where we are. The girls play so well as a team, and the crowd comments on that regularly. They are having fun and it shows!”

The Norse were off until Thursday (Oct. 9) when they host Saydel, before traveling to Hampton for a tournament on Saturday (Oct. 11).