Norse volleyball team ends season with tough loss to Nevada in regional semis: R-S finishes 29-8

Joe Randleman
Ames Tribune
Roland-Story setter Madison Geise tries to get past a block attempt by Nevada middle blocker Lily Goos during the fourth set of the 3A regional semifinal match between the 12th-ranked Norse and Cubs Oct. 20 at the Norsemen Gym in Story City. Nevada won in four sets.

For one set the Roland-Story volleyball team looked as if it had its Class 2A regional semifinal match with Nevada in the bag Oct. 20 at Story City.

The 12th-ranked Norse jumped all over the Cubs in the opening set, winning 25-14. But after that it was all Nevada.

The Heart of Iowa Conference champion Norse were taken completely out of their game over the final three sets. They lost sets two and three by identical 25-18 scores then dropped the fourth set, 25-21.

Roland-Story ended its amazing season with a 29-8 record.

"I'm so proud of this team," Roland-Story head coach Molly Geise said. "The progress they have made from August until now is amazing.  I don't think anyone expected us to have 29 wins and beat five ranked opponents this season.  The senior leaders were so welcoming to the younger players that it allowed them to grow fearlessly. One match doesn't define this season for us."

The Norse won their regional quarterfinal match over Saydel Oct. 18, sweeping the Eagles by scores of 25-9, 25-12 and 25-14.

Here is what we learned from Roland-Story's two regional matches:

Mistakes prove costly

Roland-Story won its opening sets in large part to clean play. But the Norse got off their game and were rattled at times over the final three sets.

"The first set we only had three errors between hitting and serving," Geise said. "However, the second set we had 10 and volleyball is a momentum game.  We cleaned up our serving from that point on, but still made too many hitting errors."

The Norse finished the match with just an 8.7 % kill-efficiency rate compared to the 19.4 % success rate of Nevada. They also finished with just four aces serving the ball and the Cubs had nine.

Geise and Barkema go down swinging

Madison Geise and Reagan Barkema were the two dominant forces for Roland-Story all season. The senior duo bowed out with tremendous efforts in defeat against Nevada.

Geise recorded 22 assists, 13 digs and six kills. Barkema finished with 15 kills, five digs and one block.

"Reagan and Madison were four-year starters and were leaders from the first day," Molly Geise said. "They grew into being two of the very best captains that any coach could ask for. They grew as players and performed every roll that was needed from them."

Another Norse senior, Ally Ringsby, finished with 10 digs from the libero position. Senior Addison Mohr chipped in two digs.

Roland-Story Llibero Ally Ringsby (red) and teammate Ali Charlson collide as they go for a dig during the third set of the No. 12 Norse's loss to Nevada in the 3A regional semifinals Oct. 20 at Story City.

Reagan Faber recorded 10 digs, four blocks and three kills for Roland-Story. Ali Charlson had 13 digs, Grace Dowling four kills, Kamryn Lande three kills, Madelyn Risdal two blocks and kills apiece and Jaclyn Gessner two digs.

No problems with Saydel

Roland-Story completely overpowered Saydel in the regional quarterfinals.

The Norse recorded a 23.3 % efficiency rate and held the Eagles to a minus-3.3 % rate. Roland-Story also had 13 aces on 93 % serving.

Barkema had 11 kills, Geise eight, Dowling seven, Faber five and Lande four against Saydel. Barkema also produced eight digs, Geise 26 assists, five digs and three aces, Faber five digs and Lande four digs and three aces.

Ringsby finished with 14 digs and two aces, Mohr three digs and two aces and Charlson two digs and aces apiece.