Ipswich Tribune -

Volleyball team works hard for wins last week


September 2, 2020

The Ipswich volleyball team picked up a pair of hard-fought opening week 3-1 wins by taking control of momentum at the end. The Tigers won a Lake Region Conference match over Aberdeen Christian to start their season last Tuesday at home in the Tiger Den. The team then went on the road for a non-conference victory over Highmore-Harrold last Thursday in Highmore.

But first things first! The Tigers strung together a late rally for an initial 26-24 win over the Knights. They had trailed by as much as seven points, 19-12 at one juncture of the set. But Aberdeen Christian bounced back for a second-set 25-21 win to even things at one set apiece. The two LRC teams battled back and forth in the third set, before Ipswich finally prevailed with a Halle Heinz service ace for a 31-29 win. Lindsey Grabowska's kill had given Ipswich a one-point edge. As you might expect, that seemed to disappoint the Knights, but they were certainly not ready to concede things. They hung around for a 25-23 loss in the fourth set, capped by a Grabowska ace.

The Tigers fueled their attack with a 132-171 hitting effort that featured 45 kills. Hailey Bierman went 47-51 at the net with nine kills, Grabowska finished 21-27 there with 10 kills and Paige Mehlberg added a 15-23 eight-kill night. That was set up by Ipswich's setting chores handled by Heinz with 81 sets that included 20 assists and Bailey Pitz, 63-66 with 20 assists. As a team, Ipswich was 163-169 with 45 assists. In blocking the Tigers had seven total blocks that included three solos, one each by Mehlberg, Hailey Bierman and Halie Feldman.

Ipswich finished 86-95 in serving and included five aces. Grabowska was 23-23, Tarynn Kleffman, 16-18 and Heinz 15-17 with her ace.

Defensively, Ipswich came away with 130 digs, led by Chesney Olivier with 57.

Their road trip may have then helped fuel Highmore-Harrold's early 25-18 win. But it didn't last long. That's because Ipswich regrouped for 25-16, 25-22 and 25-23 set victories to secure its win. The Tigers pounded down 90 hits in 117 tries with 36 kills. They were led in a balanced effort by Hailey Bierman's 31-36 evening that featured eight kills. In serving Ipswich finished 80-89 with nine aces, led by Chesney Olivier 21-23 with one ace and Grabowska was next at 13-13 with three aces. Taryyn Kleffman was 12-14 at the line with two aces.

Ipswich again utilized a solid setting effort. The Tigers were 100-102 with 34 assists. Heinz went 51-52 with 15 assists and Pitz, 31-31 with 13 assists. In blocking Ipswich totaled 11 blocks, again featuring Mehlberg, Hailey Bierman and Halie Feldman with one solo each. Ipswich came away with 83 digs, led by Chesney Olivier with 26 and Heinz with 17.

The Tigers were next scheduled to play in Groton on September 1, followed by a Sept. 3 trip against Waubay/Summit in Waubay. Then they’ll return home against Sully Buttes on September 8.


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