The Mid-Prairie volleyball team had a tough start in the volleyball tournament at the CCA Invitational on Saturday, but the Golden Hawks finished the day with back-to-back victories after a three-set …
The Mid-Prairie volleyball team had a tough start in the volleyball tournament at the CCA Invitational on Saturday, but the Golden Hawks finished the day with back-to-back victories after a three-set win over Union Community.
Mid-Prairie’s match with the Knights (19-16) was the most competitive of the day. Union took the first set 21-19, and the Golden Hawks answered by the same score in the second. A 15-9 third set ended the Golden Hawks’ day with a win and fourth place in the six-team tournament.
Junior Ella Groenewold had nine kills and no errors in the match, while freshmen Dakota Mitchell and Lanee Duwa led the Golden Hawks in digs with 15 and 9, respectively.
“I just knew we had to go at them with a fast offense and serve at them tough,” Mid-Prairie coach Sherry Evans said. “Defensively we had to be scrappy and we were, including a huge dig by Ainsley Miller in the third set that helped us continue our momentum, and we never looked back.”
It was the first time in seven meetings that the Golden Hawks were able to take a set from the Knights. Mid-Prairie did not take even one set in last year’s CCA Invitational and took just one set the year prior.
After a 0-3 start on Saturday, the Golden Hawks took both sets from Iowa Valley 21-16 and 21-12. The win over the Tigers (9-24) was Mid-Prairie’s first match victory in the CCA Invitational since 2018.
Maya Nonnenmann had six kills and six aces on 12-of-12 serving in the match.
The Golden Hawks opened the tournament with a three-set battle against Central DeWitt (15-11), which would end up deciding who would finish third behind the two ranked 4A teams.
Mid-Prairie took the opening set 21-14, but Central DeWitt evened things up with a 21-15 second set and scored the final two points of the third to edge Mid-Prairie 17-15.
Mitchell had 16 digs, two assists and six aces in the match. Her serving helped Mid-Prairie take a 13-10 lead with six straight points in the third set before DeWitt came back for the win.
“We had them on gamepoint twice in the third set and didn’t finish,” Evans said. “Our biggest issue is finishing sets. We need to be better not letting up and putting teams away and if we do that we will be more successful. Central is a solid team and I give them props for coming back at us.”
Mitchell’s six aces increased her conference-leading total to 57 for the season.
Landry Pacha had 20 assists and 13 digs in the match. Groenewold had seven kills and Behla Schmidt had six.
Mid-Prairie dropped all four sets to 4A No. 2 North Scott and No. 11 CCA.
“I know we are a team that if we have our mindset right, we can compete with those ranked teams,” Evans said. “Overall our play versus those teams was OK, they just played faster and with more confidence than we did. It showed us that we have several things to work on if we want to be at that level.”
North Scott (26-4) defeated the host Clippers (23-9) in two sets, 21-18 and 21-16 to take the tournament title.
Groenewold had six kills and four blocks in Mid-Prairie’s loss to CCA. She led the Golden Hawks in kills in all five matches on Saturday and finished with 34 for the day. Schmidt had 15, while Maya and Maddie Nonnenmann finished with 13 and 11.
Pacha finished with 71 assists for the day and ranks third in the conference with 516 for the season.
With two wins and three losses in the CCA Invitational, Mid-Prairie has a record of 14-11 heading into the RVC tournament on Thursday.