GARWIN - BCLUW and GMG both set the tone for their non-conference volleyball match Tuesday behind the service line.
The Comets used aggressive serving to collect 11 aces on the night, while the Wolverines missed their first five attempts behind the line and had trouble with their serve receive as BCLUW claimed a 25-17, 25-6, 25-10 victory as the season kicked off for both squads.
"We need to score some points off our serve, we have talked about that," BCLUW coach Kristen Garber said. "We need to be aggressive, and I thought our girls did a great job of hitting the spots I called. They were pretty efficient. We didn't have too many errors, and I can live with a couple errors when we are serving tough."
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
BCLUW junior Haley Veldhouse (24) smashes a kill past GMG junior Olivia Barritt (9) in Garwin on Tuesday during the Comets’ 3-0 victory.
On the flip side, GMG coach Darlene Koster will focus on both serving and serve receive in practice the next few days.
"Our serving and our serve receive were not very good," Koster said. "We are going to work hard in the next few days to try to get better. We have a goal as a team to serve to score points not just get it over the net. So we have some work to do."
BCLUW scored the game's first four points, two off GMG errors, one off a service error and another following a Haley Veldhouse kill. That advantage was all the Comets would need as they maintained a lead of at least four the rest of the way.
Valley 25-25-25, Marshalltown 17-18-13
BCLUW 25-25-25, GMG 17-6-10
South Tama 30-27-25, Grinnell 28-25-10
At Belle Plaine Quad
North Tama 25-26, East Marshall 11-24
Belle Plaine 25-25, North Tama 21-23
East Marshall 25-25, Valley Lutheran 6-16
At Grundy Center Quad
Grundy Center 25-22-17, Hudson 21-25-15
West Branch 25-25, AGWSR 2-14
Grundy Center 25-25, AGWSR 8-22
Hudson 25-20-15, West Branch 23-25-12
Grundy Center 25-25, West Branch 22-20
Hudson 25-25, AGWSR 18-15
The lead grew to 10 after a kill from Olivia Callaway and then a long service run by Callaway extended the advantage to 22-9. Callaway ended the run with three straight aces. GMG battled back to close within 24-17 but a two-touch violation gave the Comets the 1-0 lead.
The Comets jumped out to a 5-1 lead in game two thanks to two GMG errors, two Callaway kills and a Veldhouse kill.
Then with BCLUW (1-0) leading 8-4, Mallory Vawter went to work behind the service line. The Comets scored 14 straight points to go up 22-4 and Vawter served up four aces during that span, while Nicole Montgomery chipped in three kills and then made it 23-5 with another blast. Callaway finished off game two with kills at points 24 and 25.
Callaway recorded nine kills on the night, while Montgomery chipped in eight. Veldhouse also had nine kills, while Scurr finished with seven and Vawter added three. Nicolette Simpson led the Comets with 25 assists as well.
"What I was really happy with was that this win wasn't just one girl that was really hot," Garber said. "We had a number of girls that put down a lot of kills. That is how it has to be if we are going to win matches. It can't be a one-man show."
The balance continued in game three. And so did the Comets' dominance.
Two points from Callaway and two miscues from GMG gave BCLUW a 4-0 lead out of the gates and after the Wolverines (0-1) closed to within 9-6, Montgomery went nine straight points on her serve to essentially put the match away. Montgomery's final point on serve made it 19-7. Scurr, Veldhouse and Callaway all smashed down kills for BCLUW and Veldhouse, Vawter, Montgomery and Callaway each put away another kill to end the third and final game at 25-10.
"We needed to make sure the ball got right to our setter so we have plenty of options and we did a good job of that tonight," Garber said. "We are always trying to push the tempo. We did that well at times tonight, but we also reverted back to the slower, higher set. We definitely need to work on pushing the tempo and covering our hitters better. That is something we'll work on tomorrow night."
Olivia Barritt led the Wolverines with four kills, while Appelgate contibuted two aces, five blocks and one kill. Jennifer Borota had a team-high 24 digs, Abigail Duden finished with 15 digs and Mikaella Koster also had 12 digs in the loss.
"We need to get the ball up to the setters so they can get it to the hitters. When we did that, our hitters did a nice job of placing it," Koster said. "It is going to take some time to figure out. They need to find out how they are going to cover a certain area and what they are going to do to get the ball to our setter."
Callaway is top returner for the Comets recording 123 kills, 43 blocks and 132 digs as a freshman last season. Simpson had 409 assists a year ago and Scurr had 24 aces, 102 kills and 125 digs. ... The Comets went 9-20 last season but won both of their matches in straight sets against GMG. ... The Wolverines next play host to both Cedar Valley Christian and Valley Lutheran beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday. The Comets will play in their home opener against Class 2A No. 1 Dike-New Hartford at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.