GILBERT — It took Nevada a little too long to find its mojo against No. 5 (Class 3A) Gilbert in a Heart of Iowa Conference volleyball match at Gilbert Oct. 5.
The Cubs had a 51-match conference winning streak snapped at Roland-Story two nights earlier, and the loss was still in the minds of the Nevada players entering the Gilbert match.
“I think the loss on Tuesday night really rattled us,” Nevada head volleyball coach Lori Stephenson said. “I think we thought we could beat (Roland-Story) and when we didn’t — it was ‘now we’re going to face two really tough teams this week and it might just be awful.”’
Gilbert powered past the Cubs with ease in the first set, winning 25-10. The second set saw Nevada hang around for a little while before a Inga Rotto ace, Taylor Grinley kill and Cub error closed out a 25-16 Gilbert victory.
But facing elimination going into set three, Nevada started to play like a team that had been to the state tournament each of the past four seasons.
Kacie Rewerts, Hattie Rhodes, Katie Sullivan, Kelby Rewerts and Madison Thompson all started clicking at the net during the third set. Setter Amanda Fortmann and libero Morgan Tupper were all over the floor to counter Gilbert’s powerful attack and as a result, Nevada pulled off a 25-18 victory.
In the fourth set the Cubs kept taking care of business early. They raced out to a 5-1 lead and still led 19-16 late in the set.
But following a timeout, Gilbert refocused and took charge at just the right time.
Freshman Nessa Johnson came up big serving the ball for the Tigers. Following a Cub error, Johnson picked up an ace and served two more points to give Gilbert a 20-19 lead.
Nevada tied the score on a Fortmann tip, but Thea Rotto came back with a kill and Inga followed with another Tiger kill to give Gilbert a 22-20 lead. A Nevada error pushed the lead to three; then Tiger setter Bree Richard followed a Gilbert error with a huge tip to get her team to game point.
Inga Rotto finished the job with a block, giving Gilbert a 25-21 win to put the Tigers at 20-9 overall, 6-0 in the conference and in firm position to win the HOIC with just one match remaining.
Nevada fell to 19-15 overall and 4-2 in the HOIC with the loss. Even with the outcome not going the Cubs’ way, it still gives them something to build off of in preparation for the postseason.
“To take the No. 5 team in the state to four games — and we controlled game three and part of game four — gosh, our girls played well,” Stephenson said. “We played two really, really good games. They just played so well with each other the last two games. That was very fun to be a part of.”
Kacie Rewets was outstanding for Nevada in defeat, putting up 16 digs, 11 kills, four blocks, one assist and one ace. Fortmann delivered 25 assists, seven digs and one kill; Tupper 18 digs, three kills, two aces and one assist and Rhodes seven kills, three blocks, three digs and one ace.
Katie Sullivan added seven digs, three kills and one block and Kelby Rewerts five digs, four kills, four aces and one block. Madison Thompson had four digs and one block and Maddie Stevens six digs for the Cubs.
Inga Rotto led Gilbert with 17 kills, 11 digs, four aces and two blocks. Thea Rotto added 11 kills, seven digs, one block and one ace; Richard 43 assists, 19 digs, two kills and one ace and Megan Goodhue 19 digs.
STORY CITY - A spectacular 51-match winning streak in Heart of Iowa Conference play came to an end for Nevada Oct. 3 with a four-set loss to Roland-Story in Story City.
The match was even after two sets. Roland-Story won a 27-25 squeaker in the opening set and Nevada came back with a 25-20 triumph in the second.
Roland-Story came back with a 25-20 win of its own in the pivotal third set to go back in front. The Norse then finished the job with a 25-23 win in the fourth set.
Kacie Rewerts and Hattie Rhodes each put up 17 kills for Nevada in the loss. Rewerts also had 18 digs and one assist and Rhodes five digs, three blocks and one assist.
Katie Sullivan added nine kills, five digs, one assist and one block. Amanda Fortmann put up 46 assists, 10 digs, two kills and two aces and Morgan Tupper 32 digs, three kills, two aces and one block.
Maddie Stevens delivered 11 digs, Madison Thompson five kills and three digs and Kelby Rewerts seven digs, two kills, one block and one ace. Ellie Gray tacked on nine digs and one ace and Mikayla Long one kill and one dig.