Golden Hawks annihilate Cougars in fifth

By Jeff Yoder
Posted 9/17/21

Cascade took Mid-Prairie to the fifth on Thursday, but the Cougars were unable to handle the serves of Golden Hawk freshman Dakota Mitchell in the decisive set of the match. 

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Golden Hawks annihilate Cougars in fifth

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Cascade took Mid-Prairie to the fifth on Thursday, but the Cougars were unable to handle the serves of Golden Hawk freshman Dakota Mitchell in the decisive set of the match. 

The buzz in Tim Grady Gymnasium built as Mitchell served point after point. By the time the Golden Hawk run reached 11-0, the student section was in a frenzy. 

“She's quite the athlete,” Mid-Prairie coach Sherry Evans said. “I didn't give her spots to serve, I said go back, relax. Just get it over the net, and be aggressive.”

Mid-Prairie took the fifth set 15-6.

Coming off of a pair of three-set losses to No. 4 West Liberty and No. 3 Wilton, the Golden Hawks wanted to bounce back against the Cougars (10-5), who were second in the RVC North standings. 

“We just needed that,” Evans said. “We needed a game where we had to work hard and got the outcome that we wanted. I'm just very proud of all of them. The effort from everyone on the bench to everyone on the court and all my coaches.”

The Golden Hawks suffered from a slow start in each of the first two matches. They came back in the first to pull within 21-20 on Cana Rediger’s ace, but Cascade took the last four. 

Mid-Prairie’s start was even worse in the second, falling behind 8-2 before coming back to tie it at 13-13. Mid-Prairie scored the last three points of the set to even things up with a 25-22 win, and took the third set 25-18.  

Junior Ella Groenewold had nine kills and five blocks for Mid-Prairie in the win. 

“I think me and Landry (Pacha) just connected really well,” Groenewold said. “We had kind of lost it for a little bit. And we just been really working hard in practice to get it back. And I think tonight that happened.”

Maya Nonnenmann also had nine kills for the Golden Hawks and Behla Schmidt had seven. Pacha finished with 29 assists. Rediger finished with 11 digs, while Mitchell had 27 digs and eight aces. 

Groenewold praised Mitchell for forcing two Cascade timeouts, and continuing her run through the interruptions in play. 

“Dakota is just an amazing server,” Groenewold said. “She's a freshman, and she knows how to stay engaged in the game and just keep going. I was just so proud of her.”

After dropping five of their last six games, the Golden Hawks (6-5) are back above .500 with the win. 

“This program has come so far and we have amazing players this year,” Groenewold said.” And I think it's really showing in every match that we play, especially tonight. Just the tenacity that we have, it’s really great.”

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