Cardinal Invitational brings quality volleyball to NHS gym
A year ago, Newton’s Cardinals felt they let one get away from them during their annual Cardinal Varsity Volleyball Invitational. The Cardinals had leads in back-to-back sets against Adel-DeSoto-Minbun Tigers only to lose 23-21, 23-21.
The Cardinals of 2013 set the goal of winning their home tournament Tuesday to open the season. ADM will be here, so will Lynnville-Sully, Oskaloosa, Carlisle and Dowling Catholic.
“We have a nice variety of teams coming to the tournament on Tuesday,” said Kim Florke, Newton head coach. “It is a group that any team can beat another at any time. It’s an opportunity to see where you are against very good competition. All teams have a solid program with good traditions and it will be a very competitive tournament.”
Newton, ADM, Oskaloosa and Carlisle are all Class 4A teams. Lynnville-Sully is a Class 1A team and Dowling Catholic is out of Class 5A.
Matches begin at 4:30 p.m. in the NHS gym. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for students.
Each team will play five matches in a round-robin format.
The Cardinals went 3-2 in last year’s tournament, losing to ADM and Dowling Catholic. Newton returns all but one starter from the 2012 team.
“We feel like we are ready to go. We have had great practices this week in preparation for Tuesday,” Florke said. “Our scrimmage with PCM (this past Tuesday) brought out some weaknesses for us to work on, but it also showed we have improved from last year in a lot of areas. We will go to Johnston on Saturday to see where we are against those bigger schools but I think we will hold our own.”
Returning to the court for the Cardinals are seven seniors — 6-foot outside hitter Michaela Bleeker, 5-7 outside hitter Holly Vander Pol, 5-7 right-side hitter Amber Karsten, 5-10 middle blocker Jennifer Ventling, 5-9 middle blocker Bailey Beaderstadt, 5-2 libero Kacy Cazett and 5-2 back-row setter Sydney Bergman. Freshman Megan Pressgrove is a front-row setter for Newton. Also on the varsity are junior Sydney Hemann, sophomore Alyssa Bartels and freshman Kaytlin Ahn.
“My biggest concern with playing five matches right off the bat is fatigue, but all teams will be facing that same problem. I think the team that stays the most focused is the team that will win that tournament. We are hoping that it is our time to win the first tournament of the year,” Florke said.
2013 Cardinal Varsity Volleyball Invitational
Newton vs. Lynnville-Sully, 4:30 p.m., Court 1
ADM vs. Dowling Catholic, 4:30 p.m., Court 2
Oskaloosa vs. Carlisle, 4:30 p.m. Court 3
Oskaloosa vs. ADM, Court 1
Newton vs. Carlisle, Court 2
Lynnville-Sully vs. Dowling Catholic, Court 3
Carlisle vs. ADM, Court 1
Newton vs. Dowling Catholic, Court 2
Lynnville-Sully vs. Oskaloosa, Court 3
Dowling Catholic vs. Oskaloosa, Court 1
Carlisle vs. Lynnville-Sully, Court 2
Newton vs. ADM, Court 3
Newton vs. Oskaloosa, Court 1
ADM vs. Lynnville-Sully, Court 2
Dowling Catholic vs. Carlisle, Court 3