CARROLL – Creston volleyball (6-15) lost to Hawkeye 10 opponent Kuemper Catholic (21-6) Monday night in a 3-0 final. The Panthers succumbed to the Knights 10-25, 14-25 and 23-25.
Early on, Creston head coach Traci Haley felt the Panthers battled, but breakdowns in the play of the Panthers led to the Knights pulling away and holding Creston down.
“We were kind of going point-for-point in that first game, ... we had some breakdowns in the passing and we were giving points up [at] serve,” said Haley. “Those things will eat away and they started getting three, four or five points on you and it makes it difficult to come back from.”
In the second set, the Panthers continued to struggle, but in Set 3 the Panthers hung with the Knights and made them sweat a little bit. Ultimately, the Panthers couldn’t get the points it needed in the deciding frame.
“We did come back in game three and made them work for that one,” said Haley. “I told them in the huddle, ‘make them work for every point they have to get.’ It was much better game play in Set 3. ... This last set is what we need to start with.”
Haley said some personnel changes in the third set helped keep things fresh for the Panthers on the floor, saying everyone stepped up in the moment and it had enough of a spark to keep the players energized.
The Panthers were led in kills by Kelsey Fields’ seven. Bri Fields and Sam Dunphy had five kills also.
Perfect from serve was Rylie Driskell, who was 10 of 10. Peyton Rice was also perfect, going 7 of 7 and Karly Kalvin was 2 of 2.
Driskell had a team-high 19 assists and Rice had six digs, also a team-high.
The Panthers took on four teams over the the weekend, walking out of the Indianola weekend tournament with a record of 1-3.
“We had a good weekend. I felt our play was better and we stepped it up and did better,” said Haley. “We had some breakdowns in play, but overall I thought the weekend was good and I felt like were going to carry that and step it up and compete hard (Monday). We just didn’t get it done.”
The lone win of the weekend came against Perry (3-24), a 2-0 (25-18, 25-12) final.
Creston had seven kills from Kelsey Fields and 17 assists from Driskell. Leading in digs was Maddie Frey with nine and leading in aces was Driskell with three.
Creston lost to Ballard (11-13) in two sets at 21-10, 21-18. The Panthers, who are winless in the QuickStats era against Ballard, tallied 13 kills in the loss.
Kelsey Fields had six kills and Dunphy had five. Driskell led in helpers with nine. Paup and Kelsey Fields posted two solo blocks. Driskell was 13 of 13 from serve with three aces.
The Panthers were also blanked by Fort Dodge (6-16) in a 25-21 and 25-23 final.
With 10 kills, Kelsey Fields led the category again. Driskell and Halle Evans split setter duties, posting 12 and eight assists, respectively. Creston had 34 digs and was 40 of 43 from serve.
Against Stanton (21-5), Creston lost 2-1 (21-23, 22-20, 10-15).
Leading in kills was Kelsey Fields again with 10. Driskell was the assists leader for a fourth time with 13. Brianna Fields had 11 digs and Frey had 10. Dunphy had two aces for the team-high.
UP NEXT – Creston next takes on Harlan today (Tuesday) at 7 p.m. at home. It is the final regular season game before the Panthers gear up to take on Winterset in the opening round of the Class 4A Region 2 quarterfinal Oct. 20.
On Tuesday’s matchup, Haley said the Panthers will see a similar style of play to Kuemper when facing Harlan, citing quick arm swings, quick up the middle and efficiency as areas the Cyclones do well.
Looking further ahead to Winterset, Haley said pushing the Huskies is the goal and making them earn every point would make her happy.
“Playing some of our better play, like we did (Monday) in the last (set), if we can bring that to the floor and make them work and push them and take a few games away from them, that would make me happy,” Haley said. “Taking a win from them is a bonus, ... If we can come in and play good volleyball and play them tough, and make them earn every point, then that would make me happy.”
Serving (aces) — Maddie Frey 5-6 (1), Sam Dunphy 8-9, Karly Calvin 2-2, Rylie Driskell 10-10, Bri Fields 8-9, Peyton Rice 7-7 (1).
Attacks (kills) — Frey 2-3, Dunphy 9-12 (5), Rylie Driskell 3-3, Bri Fields 12-13 (5), Morgan Driskell 4-4, Peyton Rice 4-5, Ryli Abildtrup 13-14 (5), Kelsey Fields 11-13 (7), Doryn Paup 6-6 (1).
Blocks — Dunphy 0-1, Ryli Abildtrup 0-2, Kelsey Fields 3-1, Paup 1-0.
Setting (assists) — Rylie Driskell 19.
Digs — Frey 4 Dunphy 3, Calvin 1, Bri Fields 2, Rice 6, Ryli Abildtrup 1.