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Bleeker’s attack mode leads Cardinals to DMC Invitational title

Published: Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 10:59 a.m. CST • Updated: Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 12:09 p.m. CST
(Jocelyn Sheets/Daily News)
Holly Vander Pol (6) hits the volleyball as her Newton teammates provide cover on the attack at the net during a home match this past week. The Cardinals went 3-0 Thursday to win the Des Moines Christian Invitational at Urbandale.

URBANDALE — It came down to a match against host Des Moines Christian, which is ranked 13th Class 2A in the latest IGHSAU poll. Newton’s Cardinals had dispatched the other two teams — Van Meter and Mount Ayr.

The Cardinals notched a 21-13, 21-18 victory over the Lions, winning the DMC Invitational Thursday. The sweep of their tournament matches put the Cardinals at 12-4 for the season.

Newton beat Mount Ayr, 21-11, 21-6. Newton came from behind to defeat Van Meter, 20-22, 21-6, 15-12.

“We are thrilled to win this tournament for the second year in a row,” said Kim Florke, Newton head coach. “We had some rough patches early on, and again this team held it together and got the win.”

The Cardinals travel to Knoxville Tuesday in Little Hawkeye Conference play. Newton is 2-0 in conference action.

Michaela Bleeker delivered 27 kills on the night as she went 70-for-79 in attack attempts at the net. She had 10 kills each against DMC and Van Meter. Holly Vander Pol had 10 kills, and Bailey Beaderstadt provided nine kills.

In the Van Meter match, Sydney Bergman and Megan Pressgrove combined to go 50-for-62 setting the ball for the Cardinals. Pressgrove finished the night with 19 set assists, and Bergman had 18 set assists.

“Michaela had a big night for us. It was great to see her look like her old self. We have been waiting for her to get back on track and she really hammered some balls tonight,” Florke said. “Jenn Ventling continues to come back from her ankle sprain. We are beginning to see her return to her early season form.”

Vander Pol had seven ace serves, going 16-of-17 at the service line against Van Meter. Beaderstadt was 14-of-15 serving against Van Meter, and she had four ace serves on the night. Bleeker had four ace serves. Amber Karsten had one ace serve for the tounament, but was 10-of-10 against DMC and 14-of-15 serving in the Mount Ayr match.

Pressgrove had the lone solo block of the night for Newton. Ventling had two assisted blocks, and three kills in the three matches. Bleeker and Beaderstadt each had a block assist.

Vander Pol came up with 18 digs, followed by Kacy Cazett with 11. Karsten had eight digs, and Bergman had six digs.

“We look forward to going to Knoxville on Tuesday to take on the Panthers,” Florke said. “That match will be a dog fight, and I think the winner will be in the driver’s seat to win the conference.”

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