COLFAX — Before Colfax-Mingo’s South Iowa Cedar League volleyball match with Keota on Oct. 1, seven seniors were recognized.
Then, on the court, the senior class played a huge role in the Tigerhawks’ four-set win over the Eagles. Colfax-Mingo defeated Keota 26-24, 25-16, 24-26, 25-22 to improve to 6-14 overall.
“It’s great to win on Senior Night and to get another win in the conference,” Colfax-Mingo head coach Michelle Grant said. “I hate that we dropped a set. But on the flip side of that, I will be able to show the girls that we get complacent sometimes. And show them that this can happen and has happened.”
The 2018 volleyball senior class includes Colbee Cunningham, Braedynn Rawlins, Shaylee Shedenhelm, Chelsea Russell, Rilee Slycord and Taylor Carlson. Jasmine Riley also was recognized as the team’s senior manager.
“It’s hard to believe we are seniors. It’s great to get the win and I think we have improved a lot from the beginning of the season,” said Cunningham, who finished with 10 kills, a team-high 34 digs and three aces.
The improvement shows in the record. Colfax-Mingo began the season 2-11 but has won four of its last seven games. The Tigerhawks are 3-2 in their last five conference games.
“We’ve put in the work in practice. We are staring to mesh together,” Cunningham said. “We are trying to have as much fun as we can. Hopefully we can finish the season on a high note.”
The Tigerhawks had to rally in the first set. They trailed 10-6 before rolling off five in a row to go up 11-10. The run included kills by Rawlins and freshman Morgan Van Dyke and an ace by Cunningham.
Colfax-Mingo stayed in front a few points later and Rawlins delivered two more kills to keep the advantage at 16-13. Rawlins finished with 11 kills and seven digs in the match.
Keota didn’t stay behind for long though. The set was tied at 17, 18, 21, 22 and 24, but Colfax-Mingo scored the final three points to go up 1-0 in the match. The Eagles had a 24-23 advantage before the Tigerhawks rallied.
“The biggest thing that I saw tonight that I haven’t always seen was the hustle plays,” Grant said. “I saw players diving on the floor. We are getting so much better. We just don’t always get over the hump.
“We have a good defense. If we can just keep the ball in play, we can eventually right the ship with our offense.”
The second set was the easiest of the night for Colfax-Mingo. Back-to-back kills by Van Dyke gave the home team an 8-3 advantage and then Cunningham served up consecutive aces to push the lead to 12-7.
Keota (4-12 overall, 2-6 in the conference) didn’t get closer than four the rest of the way. The Tigerhawks led by as many as 10 before Rawlins finished off the set with another kill at the net.
“We have worked really hard in practice. We have worked on every aspect of the game,” Rawlins said. “We have a lot of new players this year, and I think we are starting to come together.”
Set three was another nip and tuck effort for both teams. Keota grabbed an early 6-3 advantage before Van Dyke blasted back-to-back kills to tie the score at 6-all. Van Dyke tallied 11 kills and two blocks in the win.
There was 10 total ties in the set. Neither team led by more than four in the frame. Colfax-Mingo led 22-19 and 23-20 after kills by Van Dyke, but Keota tied the score at 23-all.
Rawlins gave the Tigerhawks a 24-23 advantage, but the Eagles fought off match point and then won the next two to send the match to a fourth game.
The Tigerhawks got out quick in the final set. Cunningham led the way early with a trio of kills that put Colfax-Mingo up 8-2. Keota used a mini run of its own to get back in the set. The Eagles got as close as 16-14 before C-M went back up four with consecutive points.
Keota then rolled off three straight points to close within one, but a hitting error and a Cunningham kill pushed the Tigerhawk advantage back to 21-17.
Van Dyke continued her strong night in the middle when she went up for a big block to put her team up 23-20. Sophomore Chelsey Temple gave the Tigerhawks’ match point with one of her nine kills in the match and then a net violation call against the Eagles ended the night.
“We were able to get it together and didn’t let the loss (in game three) get to us,” Rawlins said. “We have a strong mindset that we can do this, and it feels really nice to get this win on Senior Night.”
Freshman Kyra Lester joined Cunningham with a double-double as she finished with 25 assists, 15 digs and three aces.
Shedenhelm had 21 digs, Russell had seven assists and seven digs and sophomore Kira Warrick tallied nine digs.
The Tigerhawks were 90-of-99 in serves on the night. Russell was 16-of-16, Cunningham finished 21-of-23, Van Dyke was 13-of-14 and Lester was 15-of-17. Colfax-Mingo served up eight aces as a team.
Iowa Valley 3, Colfax-Mingo 0
MARENGO — There was no quit in the Colfax-Mingo volleyball tournament on Oct. 4.
After getting handled pretty easily in the first two sets against Iowa Valley, the Tigerhawks played much better in the final set.
The Tigers proved to be too much though during a 25-14, 25-14, 25-20 win in SICL play.
Iowa Valley led 12-6 in the first set before cruising to an easy win.
The Tigers jumped out to a 9-1 lead in the second set.
The third set was much tougher for the home team. Colfax-Mingo (6-15 overall, 3-5 in the SICL) trailed 11-4 but rallied to tie the game at 15-all. Iowa Valley (13-13, 6-2) held a 20-18 advantage before scoring five of the final seven points to earn the sweep.
Van Dyke finished with a team-high eight kills. Cunningham had four kills, 10 digs and five aces and she was 10-for-10 in serves.
Lester tallied three kills, nine assists and five digs and she was 8-for-8 in serves.
The Tigerhawks were 47-of-49 in serves on the night.
Rawlins chipped in three kills, Russell finished with six assists and a team-high 17 digs and Shedenhelm added 16 digs. Warrick also had eight digs.
Finishing perfect on the night in serves were Cunningham, Lester, Russell (7-for-7) and Van Dyke (5-for-5). Shedenhelm was 8-of-9 and Warrick was 9-of-10.
The Tigerhawks played in pool play of the SICL tournament on Oct. 8. Colfax-Mingo faced English Valleys in the first match in Belle Plaine. Belle Plaine awaits the winner later that night.
Colfax-Mingo continues SICL tournament play on Oct. 11. The opponents and site are still unknown.