BONDURANT - The Nevada volleyball team followed up its big home win over North Polk two days earlier with two quality victories at the Bluejay Invitational in Bondurant Saturday.
The Cubs upset Gilbert and Bondurant-Farrar — the seventh and 15th-ranked teams in Class 3A — as part of a 2-2 day that put their record at 11-9 on the season. Their two losses came to a Pella Christian squad rated No. 12 in 2A and a 5A school in Cedar Rapids Kennedy.
All four of the matches Nevada participated in went the full three sets.
Nevada rallied to stun Gilbert after struggling in the opening set. The Cubs suffered a 21-7 setback, but came back to win an exciting 21-19 affair to force a rally game, where they kept up their hot play to pull off a 15-9 victory and claim the match.
The two teams had nearly identical efficiency in their attacks. Nevada had 23 kills and 10 errors in 85 attacks, compared to Gilbert’s 23 kills and 11 errors in 82 attacks.
The Cubs overcame no ace serves and a 10-6 deficit in blocks to knock off their Heart of Iowa Conference rivals.
Kacie Rewerts had eight kills, five digs and two blocks for Nevada in the win. Amanda Fortmann dished out 18 assists and came up with four digs and Morgan Tupper delivered 12 digs, three kills and one ace.
Kelby Rewerts added five kills and three digs; Hattie Rhodes four kills, three digs and one block; Hannah Thomsen four digs and two blocks; Ellie Gray three digs and Maddie Stevens two digs against Gilbert. Madison Thompson came up with two digs and Mikayla Long three digs, one block and one kill.
The Cubs won a squeaker over Bondurant-Farrar, taking the rally game in an exciting 18-16 affair. Nevada won the opening set, 21-14, and Bondurant-Farrar took the second by a 21-17 margin to set up the rally game.
Nevada recorded a .203 kill-efficiency rate with 18 kills and only five errors in 64 attacks versus Bondurant-Farrar. The Cubs were outstanding serving the ball against the Bluejays, going a perfect 53 of 53 with 10 aces, and they also had 40 digs and six blocks.
Kacie Rewerts had 10 digs, eight kills, two blocks and two aces and Rhodes six kills plus two digs, blocks and aces apiece against Bondurant-Farrar. Fortmann put up 14 assists, four digs, two kills and one block and Tupper six digs.
Kelby Rewerts and Long both turned in four digs and one kill against the Bluejays. Kelby also had three aces and one assist and Long two aces and one block.
Thomsen totaled four digs and one assist, Gray three digs, Thompson two digs and one ace and Stevens one dig in the win over Bondurant-Farrar.
Nevada couldn’t make a thrilling 24-22 win in the opening set stick against Pella Christian. The Eagles won the second set by a 21-12 margin, then handed the Cubs a 15-8 setback in the rally game.
Nevada struggled with its attack against Pella Christian. The Cubs only had 19 kills against 20 errors in 88 attacks and they also ended up with just one ace.
Kacie Rewerts put up six kills, five digs and one block and Thompson and Katie Sullivan each delivered five kills against Pella Christian. Fortmann came up with 17 assists, five digs and one block; Tupper had 14 digs and one kill and Gray finished with six digs and one assist.
Rhodes put up five digs, one kill and one ace and Kelby Rewerts four digs and one kill versus Pella Christian. Stevens added two digs.
A dominant second set wasn’t enough for Nevada against Cedar Rapids Kennedy. The Cubs came back from a 22-20 loss in the opening set to own the second by a 21-9 margin, but they couldn’t keep the momentum going, suffering a 15-9 loss in the rally game.
Nevada fell despite picking up 29 kills against only eight errors in 73 attacks versus Kennedy. The Cubs tallied 38 digs, four aces and two blocks in the match, but they were hurt by the Cougars’ 12 blocks.
Kacie Rewerts put up nine digs and eight kills and Rhodes seven kills and one block against Kennedy. Kelby Rewerts added four kills, three aces, two digs and one assist and Fortmann 24 assists, seven digs, one block and one kill.
Morgan Tupper chipped in eight digs and three kills; Thompson three kills, two digs, one assist and one ace and Long three kills, two digs and one assist. Gray added four digs, Stevens three digs and one assist and Thomsen one dig.
NEVADA - When it comes to volleyball competition in the Heart of Iowa Conference, it’s best not to turn your back on Nevada.
Nevada is the five-time defending HOIC champions, but the Cubs entered their home match with North Polk Sept. 14 looking more vulnerable than they have in years. The Cubs went into the match only .500 on the season, and they were swept by North Polk just last Saturday at the Southeast Polk Invitational.
But with their eyes on a sixth-straight conference title, the Cubs raised their game to a whole new level Thursday at the Nevada High School Field House, sweeping the Comets by scores of 25-22, 25-18 and 25-21 to take a big step toward yet another championship.
“We want to keep it going,” Nevada senior middle hitter Hattie Rhodes said. “The people before us kept it going and we don’t want to be the ones to end it.”
Nevada (8-7, 2-0) outclassed North Polk early in the first set, then held off a late Comet rally for the win. The Cubs fell behind early in the second set, but took control in the middle and pulled away late, with a Katie Sullivan kill finishing off the victory.
In the third set, North Polk played its best volleyball early, jumping out to a 14-6 lead. But errors had plagued the Comets all match and they caught up to them again in the third set, allowing Nevada to close the match on a 9-1 run and steal the victory.
A balanced attack played a huge role in the win for Nevada.
The Cubs don’t have the all-state performers, such as Abby Stephenson or current UNI Panther Kati Cassabaum, they’ve had in the past to rely on in crunch time. But they have several players capable of stepping up when needed, and that was evident against North Polk as five Nevada players tallied at least three kills.
“I think since we lost a lot of people nobody (on the other team) really knows who to go to,” Rhodes said. “So we distribute the ball and they can’t really follow (one person).”
Sullivan led Nevada with six kills against North Polk. The sister tandem of Kacie and Kelby Rewerts each tallied five, Rhodes finished with four and Madison Thompson came up with three.
Amanda Fortmann did a tremendous job getting everyone involved for Nevada.
After playing in the back row last season, Fortmann took over the setter position from all-state performer Gillian Tupper.
“I kind of just got thrown into it,” Fortmann said. “But I’ve been working my hardest and it’s kind of working out.”
Against North Polk, Fortmann dished out 21 assists. She also came up with nine digs and two aces.
Kacie Rewerts added 19 digs, three blocks and two aces, Kelby put up two aces and one block and Rhodes finished with three blocks and two aces. Morgan Tupper came up with 18 digs in the back row and Maddie Stevens chipped in 10.
North Polk fell to 13-8 overall and 0-1 in the conference with the loss. Carolyn Steffen had 12 digs and kills apiece, Nora Aschoff came up with 17 digs and Grace Nelson dished out 16 assists for the Comets.