SULLY — Pulling a late rally in the fifth set of Monday’s South Iowa Cedar League volleyball showdown with visiting Iowa Valley’s Tigers was a fitting finish to Senior Night 2019 for Lynnville-Sully’s Hawks.
The Hawks and Tigers battled back-and-forth as both came into the match at 5-1 in SICL play. Lynnville-Sully won the first and third sets while Iowa Valley had wins in Sets 2 and 4. It came down to a fifth set and the Tigers leaped out to an 8-4 lead, needing just 15 points to win.
Lynnville-Sully has just two seniors — Mallory Loftus and Janelle Rozendaal, starting hitter and setter. Unfortunately, Rozendaal is sidelined for the rest of the season after suffering a dislocated ankle a week ago at Colfax-Mingo.
“This is a very composed group of players. Even when they were down, they were ready to dig deep and win,” Lynnville-Sully head coach Jayme Deal said after the match.
The Hawks continued to work on the court not allowing any big runs by the Tigers. A kill by Loftus made it 10-9 but couldn’t hold serve then got it right back. With junior Denali Conover serving the Hawks scored two points.
Iowa Valley tied it at 12-12 but Loftus had another of her 10 kills on the night to put Lynnville-Sully up by one — two points away from a win. Loftus was at the serving line and junior Korinne Jansen delivered her 13th kill of the night.
The match point came on defense with Lynnville-Sully holding a 14-13 lead. The Hawks netted the win 25-23, 19-25, 25-17, 22-25, 15-13.
“Our team has been trying to rebuild since Janelle went out as our main setter so it’s about getting used to something new,” Loftus said. “It just showed you how bad we wanted that win. We did what we needed to to get the win,”
Lynnville-Sully improved to 6-1 and is the SICL West Division champion. The Hawks have one more conference match on Tuesday at Belle Plaine, which is 6-0 with two matches remaining in the SICL regular season. Belle Plaine is atop the SICL East Division.
Loftus said what has worked this season for the Hawks is being scrappy and encouraging each other after plays, good or bad. The Hawks are 15-5 overall.
“We knew this match was going to tough because we were both close in conference play,” Loftus said. “We wanted to win after losing to Montezuma last week. Going to Belle Plaine on Tuesday, it’s another tough match but we’re a tough team too so if we go and play like we can, I think we can pull it out.”
Lynnville-Sully and Iowa Valley never gave each other much breathing room in Monday’s match. In the opening set, a six-point serving run by Jansen with junior Krystal Van Dyke working the net put the Hawks up 14-8. It was 20-17 when junior Cally Gibbs served three straight again with Van Dyke playing the net.
Van Dyke delivered 10 solo blocks on the night and three assisted blocks. She also had 10 kills.
The Hawks were serving for set point at 24-18 but the Tigers ripped the point away and served up three straight points. The Hawks got set point on a defensive play.
Lynnville-Sully led early in the second set but after a 6-6 tie, the Tigers took the lead. The Hawks came back to make it 22-18 but lost 25-19.
That’s how sets three and four went also — back and forth. Lynnville-Sully’s win in Set 3 came on a three-point service run by junior Cayler Noun Harder, who has taken over the main setting duties. A tip by Gibbs was for the set-winning point.
It appeared the Hawks were on the way to a win in Set 4 up 11-7 but the Tigers forced a 16-16 tie. Iowa Valley went on to take a 24-19 lead. L-S put up three straight service points by Gibbs with Jansen having two strong plays at the net. The Tigers came up with the set winner to force Set 5.
“As I said before, this is a very composed team and the girls played smarter than we did last week,” Deal said. “They are adjusting to our situation without Janelle out there. As long as we’re moving forward, we’ll be alright.”
Conover had five kills and Gibbs made three solo blocks and two block assists. Loftus had four solo blocks and one assisted block. Noun Harder had 22 set assists and Gibbs had four.
Gibbs led the serving for the Hawks going 23-of-23 while Jansen and Loftus each were 21-of-21 and Noun Harder went 18-of-18. Junior Jaden Brand, Gibbs, Loftus and Noun Harder had one service ace apiece.
Conover was credited with 33 digs and Noun Harder had 26 digs. Jansen made 25 digs followed by Gibbs with 23 and Loftus with 14. Brand and Van Dyke each had six digs.
Contact Jocelyn Sheets at
641-792-3121 ext. 6535