GUTHRIE CENTER — After the Adair-Casey/Guthrie Center volleyball tournament Saturday where Nodaway Valley placed fourth in an eight-team field, head coach Allie Kiburz said the biggest thing she’s looking for from her team in the stretch run of the regular season is consistency.
The Wolverines were very much up and down in a 2-3 outcome at the tournament, falling 2-0 (21-10, 21-16) to Audubon and beating Exira-Elk Horn-Kimballton 2-0 (21-15, 21-14) and Glidden-Ralston 2-1 (17-21, 27-25, 15-11) during pool play. In the semifinals, the Wolverines lost to the host Chargers 2-0 (21-12, 21-13). Audubon won over NV in the finals 2-1 (15-21, 21-17, 7-15).
“We played some pretty tough competition. It was a good day competitive-wise for us, but tournaments are long and I think we got tired throughout the day playing five matches,” Kiburz said. “We tried to rotate some girls in to get some reps, but in general, I think we had a lot of ups and downs. I think that’s something we’ve been continuing to battle through and we need to find that consistency. That’s something we’re still striving for.”
In NV’s first match against Audubon, senior Maddax DeVault led with three kills, and Lindsey Davis and Whitney Lamb each added two. Davis had seven assists. Bella Hogan and Genevieve Livingston each had one solo stuff. Davis had the team’s only ace of the match.
In the Exira-EHK match, DeVault finished with eight kills and Davis had 12 set assists. Hogan and Shyan Castillo had one solo block apiece. DeVault and Rose Lonsdale each had an ace. Davis had 11 digs and Madison Long nine.
Against Glidden-Ralston, Davis set up the offense with 15 assists. Junior hitter Emma Perkey had five kills, as did Lamb. Long had 12 digs and DeVault 11. Hogan had two solo blocks to lead the team in that category.
Against the host Chargers, the Wolverines were led with four kills coming from DeVault, set up by five assists by Davis on the match. DeVault had six digs, Long five and Davis four. DeVault had the only ace for the game.
In the second match against Audubon, NV pushed the Wheelers to a third, decisive set. DeVault had a team-high six kills and sophomore Emma Lundy handled setting duties, finishing with eight assists. Long had 10 digs, DeVault and Lonsdale had seven each. Lamb finished with five of the team’s nine aces for the match as the team had its best serving outcome of the day.
Kiburz said there were positives from the day, such as forcing a third set and a win over Glidden-Ralston, after her team had lost to the Wildcats in the first set of their final pool play match.
“Any time you can battle back and win, I think that was a highlight of the day. We’ve had some other games where we’ve had to do that too and I know the girls have it in them to do that, it’s just showing it everytime we play,” Kiburz said.
Kiburz liked the pace the team played with on the offensive side throughout the tournament and how they mixed things up and weren’t as predictable, taking advantage of gaps on the other side of the net. However, usually good serving team, Nodaway Valley did not serve well on the day.
Maddax DeVault was named to the ACGC All-Tournament team.
The Wolverines (10-10, 1-1 in POI as of Monday) were set to play at Bedford Tuesday night.
“I’d say our main goal is still consistency and playing up to our pace and potential. We’ll be getting down to the games that really matter right now. With two conference games left, we then will start our conference tournament, then regionals,” Kiburz said. “It’s going to happen pretty quick, but I think fine-tuning those things and really pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone, making it so we are playing up to our potential each night, is our goal.”