Pella Christian High’s Eagles have had a rough go on the volleyball court the past week.
Their home opener Tuesday was a battle on the court. Visiting Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont’s Rockets claimed the win, 25-20, 25-17, 21-25, 25-11.
Pella Christian played five matches in three days, going 1-4 last week. They lost to host Johnston High last Thursday, then traveled again on Saturday to the Ames High Invitational.
The Eagles went into Saturday’s tournament with a new lineup because of injuries.
Lauren Jungling, right-side hitter, and defensive specialist Julia Dykstra sprained ankles during the Johnston match on Thursday. Pella Christian lost its starting libero, Morgan De Ruiter last Monday night to a shoulder injury. Andrea Horstman had ACL surgery last Tuesday.
“We are the walking wounded or the wounded warriors, but still fighting,” said Cindy Nikkel, Eagle head coach.
Pella Christian is 2-5 overall. The Eagles are at home again next Tuesday in their Little Hawkeye Conference opener against Dallas Center-Grimes.
At home against EBF, Becca Gritters pounded down 13 kills and came up with nine digs. Gritters also had one service ace. Abby Pleima was credited with 17 set assists and 16 digs. Alyssa Starkey came up with 15 digs and had one service ace.
Hannah Beltman and Logan De Graaf each delivered five kills and two block assists at the net. Laura Nicholson had two kills and two block assists. Christa Veenstra put up one solo block and one block assist, plus had one kill.
Last Thursday, the Eagles lost to host Johnston 25-14, 25-14, 25-14. Gritters had four kills. Dykstra had four digs before going out with a sprained ankle.
In pool play Saturday, Pella Christian lost 21-13, 21-17 to Urbandale, dropped a 21-6, 21-13 to 2012 Iowa Class 4A state champion Charles City. The Eagles chalked up a 21-13, 21-13 win over Des Moines East.
Veenstra led the Eagles against Urbandale with three kills and one block assist at the net, plus going 4-for-4 from the service line with one ace. Starkey, Pleima and Beltman each had two kills. Pleima was credited with eight set assists and Beltman had three block assists. Andrea De Bruin had five defensive digs while Starkey, Pleima and De Graaf each had four digs.
In the Charles City match, Gritters delivered two kills and De Graaf had one stuffed block. Pleima made four set assists and had three digs.
Starkey paced the Eagles in digs in the win over Des Moines East with 11. Pleima served up six aces, going 16-for-18 serving. She also put up 11 set assists and had six digs. Gritters pounded down seven kills, served one ace and had four digs. De Graaf had seven digs, three kills and a solo block.
Pella Christian went into the consolation bracket in Saturday’s tournament and lost a tough one to Dallas Center-Grimes. DCG pulled out a 20-25, 25-21, 15-11 win over the Eagles.
The Eagle’s net attack was led by Gritters with 10 kills and one sole block. De Graaf had five kills and Nicholson had four kills. Beltman had three block assists while Nicholson and Pleima each had two block assists.
Pleima had a double-double on the volleyball court against Dallas Center-Grimes. She had 17 set assists and 12 digs. Starkey put up 10 digs and De Graaf had eight digs. From the service line, Veenstra was 13-for-19 with two aces. De Graaf, Pleima and Starkey each had one service ace.