COLO - Things are starting to come together for the Colo-NESCO volleyball team as the Royals picked up their fourth win in seven matches with a sweep of Iowa Star Conference South Division rival CAL Thursday in Colo.


Colo-NESCO (4-10, 3-1) outclassed CAL (1-14, 0-4) in the first two sets, winning by scores of 25-10 and 25-13. In the third set the Cadets hung tough early, but the Royals broke a 7-7 tie with an 8-2 run, capped by a Molly Barten kill.


They didn’t let CAL get closer than five points the rest of the way to finish off the match with a 25-19 triumph. In addition to topping the Cadets, the Royals also knocked off Valley Lutheran in four sets last Tuesday and have wins over Waterloo Christian and GMG in their last seven matches after starting the season 0-7.


“We’re wanting to turn our record around and we have games we know we can win in the future,” Colo-NESCO senior middle hitter Molly Barten said. “Once we focus we can really pull it off — like tonight.”


The Royals moved some players around against CAL, trying out new outside and right-side hitters. The changes were effective as Colo-NESCO faced little resistance in the first two sets and easily managed to overcome a couple CAL spurts in the third set.


“We’re trying out new rotations and (seeing) how those go,” Colo-NESCO setter Chelsea Henze said. “We’ve all been working pretty well together — that’s also a factor.”


As a team, the Royals had their best hitting night of the season versus CAL. They had 26 kills and only 11 errors in 61 attacks for a .246 kill-efficiency rate.


Barten was a big part of that success. She had five kills and one block and was also strong serving the ball, going 17 of 17 with three aces.


“I was trying to be consistent, instead of hitting it hard and out of bounds, and I’ve been working on blocks a lot,” Barten said.


Henze and fellow senior Rylie Reischauer gave Colo-NESCO a formidable one-two punch both at setter and right-side hitter against CAL. The duo combined for 22 assists, 11 kills and eight digs.


“It’s really fun that we have two setters and right-side hitters,” Henze said. “We kind of work together and we also have Halley Buseman — she also is a right-side hitter and she can set as well. We all just kind of rotate and it’s kind of nice.”


Buseman finished with two kills, one assist and one ace against CAL.


Gracie Kettwig, Rylee Purvis, Lauren Riese and Lindsey Riese each added two kills apiece for Colo-NESCO.


Purvis also had three digs and two aces and Lindsey Riese two aces and one dig. Emma Sarver gave Colo-NESCO a strong performance at the libero with 14 digs.


COLO - Colo-NESCO easily overcame a sluggish start to defeat Valley Lutheran in four sets Sept. 19 at Colo.


The Royals were off their game in the opening set, losing 25-17. They came back to edge out the Crusaders in a 25-23 battle in the second set, then went in front with a strong 25-16 win in the third.


With the match on the line, Colo-NESCO turned in another quality effort in the fourth set, winning 25-18 to claim its second victory in the Iowa Star Conference South Division.


Colo-NESCO had 27 kills and 21 errors in 99 attacks and went 82 of 93 serving with an impressive 23 aces in the win. The Royals also had 24 digs and five blocks.


Lindsey Riese led a balanced Colo-NESCO attack with six kills, five digs and three aces. Rylie Reischauer put up five kills, seven assists and one dig and Rylee Purvis five kills, three digs and five aces.


Chelsea Henze led Colo-NESCO in aces with six. She also had nine assists, four digs and two kills.


Gracie Kettwig also had six aces and she added three kills and one block. Emma Sarver came up with 10 digs, one ace and one kill and Lauren Riese three kills.


Molly Barten finished with four blocks, two aces, one kill and one dig. Halley Buseman tacked on one kill and assist apiece.