Charles City improves to 2-0 in NEIC with volleyball win over Decorah
By John Burbridge firstname.lastname@example.org
DECORAH — There are more than one way to effectively serve up a volleyball.
One is the jump-serve that tends to sink like a Bartolo Colon fastball.
Then there’s another resembling a slow-pitch softball offering — or an “eephus pitch” in baseball — that when placed just over the net causes problems for front-line defenders who have little room for error.
In their Northeast Iowa Conference volleyball match against hosting Decorah on Tuesday, the Charles City Comets repeatedly utilized this “nettlesome” lob serve while stymying the Vikings on way to a four-game match victory with scores of 25-11, 19-25, 25-9, 28-26.
The win improved the Class 4A 12th-ranked Comets’ record to 7-6 overall and 2-0 in the NEIC.
For the most part, the Comets controlled the match. But after taking a 23-18 lead in the fourth game, the Vikings rallied back and nearly forced a fifth game.
An ace by Anna Hanson — who was one of Decorah’s seniors honored before the match — put the Vikings up 24-23 before a pair of service points by Comet junior Jodie Sindlinger ended the match.
In the first game, a tandem blocking kill by Sindlinger and Bailee Bortz put the Comets up 10-5 before a Sydney Loeckle-to-Tayler Schmidt kill help extend the advantage to 19-9.
A pair of kills by Jennifer Martin, with Loeckle assisting, help close the first game.
A pair of aces by sophomore Sami Heyer helped give the Comets a 5-3 lead in the second game. But Charles City had trouble breaking Decorah’s serve for an extended stretch as Ambira Pipho’s kill gave the Vikings a 17-11 lead.
In the third game, the Comets jumped out to a 13-4 lead on Schmidt’s heavy-handed kill. Subsequent aces by Sadie Ruzicka and Payton Reams helped seal the third game.
Schmidt’s dig of an Elizabeth Hartman kill attempt helped set up a two-handed set kill by Loeckle to give the Comets a 13-6 lead in the fourth game.
Decorah responded with a 9-2 run as a Brooke Berns kill put the Vikings up 17-15. But then Charles City went on a run of its own as Loeckle assisted three kills by Heyer to help get them within 2 points of victory before the last stand by the Vikings.
The Comets won’t return to action until next Tuesday (Sept. 19) when they host Crestwood in another NEIC matchup.