COUNCIL BLUFFS – The Panthers had a tough test along with a long road trip to take on Class 2A No. 7 St. Albert (10-4, 2-0 in Hawkeye 10) Tuesday, falling in straight sets 25-18, 25-16, 25-13.
In the first set Creston held with the Saintes early, sitting tied at 5-all and 9-all, but miscommunication led to St. Albert being able to pull away.
“I think we came out ready to play. We knew what we needed to do,” said Creston co-head coach Mallory Peterson. “We were really getting some touches on balls, we just had a lot of miscommunication.”
In the second set Creston fell behind early and tried to claw its way back into things against a free-swinging Saintes team that ended the night with 44 kills.
Peterson noted that the second set mimicked the first in which the Panthers couldn’t quite get over the hump and find their way back into things once they fell behind.
Kelsey Fields and Emma Hanson once again had solid days in the front row for the Panthers, putting together 11 and seven kills, respectively.
Megan Haley had six kills and seven digs for Creston and was 6-7 from behind the service line.
“When we were attacking the ball we were in things, but that’s the thing. We have to get more consistent defensively so that we can attack the ball,” said Peterson.
The Panthers fell behind by six points early in the third set and stayed down for the entirety of the final frame.
Brianna Fields replaced Sam Dunphy, who was unable to take part in the varsity contest. Peterson isn’t expecting Dunphy to be ready to play in the Panthers next contest Thursday and noted that the freshman Fields will be the main look to replace her.
Brianna Fields ended the night with four digs and was 6-9 serving.
MaKenna Hudson picked up a team-high 14 digs for the Panthers and Bree Ross had a team-best 21 assists.
UP NEXT – Creston (6-3, 0-2) will look to be more consistent defensively and clean up the communication as it starts to get into the thick of Hawkeye 10 play.
The Panthers will host Denison-Schleswig (8-10, 1-3) Thursday. The Monarchs are coming off a straight-sets loss to Shenandoah.
St. Albert JV also put up a clean sweep of Creston Tuesday by a final of 25-16, 25-19.
Ryli Abildtrup led the Panthers in kills with four as Brianna Fields added three and Rylie Driskell and Hannah Dryden each posted two.
Maddie Frey dug up six balls, while Kaci Abildtrup was a team-best 8-9 on serves.
“The girls played hard, but could not seem to keep momentum. We had some good runs but just seem to fall short both sets,” said Creston co-head coach Naomi Sharp. “Service errors and serve receive errors plagued us tonight.”
St. Albert 3, Creston 0
Serving (aces) — Crest: Bree Ross 8-9, MaKenna Hudson 8-8, Taylor Buxton 7-7, Emma Hanson 6-7, Megan Haley 6-7, Brianna Fields 6-9.
Attacks (kills) — Crest: Kelsey Fields 25-27 (11), Hanson 16-18 (7), Haley 16-18 (6), Buxton 8-10 (2), Ross 6-6 (1), Brianna Fields 2-5, Hudson 4-5.
Blocks (solo, assists) — Crest: Hanson (0,4); Buxton (0,2).
Setting (assists) — Crest: Ross 21, Buxton 3, Kelsey Fields 1, Haley 1, Hudson 1.
Digs — Crest: Hudson 14, Buxton 10, Haley 7, Brianna Fields 4, Peyton Rice 4, Ross 3, Hanson 2, Kelsey Fields 1.