NEVADA — One bad stretch in the fourth set sealed Nevada’s fate in a Class 3A regional quarterfinal loss to Heart of Iowa Conference rival North Polk Tuesday at the Nevada High School Field House.
The Cubs were down 2-1 going into the fourth set. They jumped out to a 12-4 lead in the set and seemed poised to force a rally game in a match between the two teams that tied for the HOIC championship.
But with Nora Aschoff serving for North Polk, everything went south in a hurry for Nevada. The Cubs gave up 11 consecutive points and never recovered, losing 25-19 to drop the match in four sets.
“North Polk did a nice job adjusting to our offense and taking advantage of the weaknesses in our defense,” North Polk head volleyball coach Lori Stephenson said.
North Polk came out like a team on a mission. The Comets cubdominated the first set with a 25-13 victory, then nearly came back from a 7-1 deficit in the second before Nevada held on to win a 26-24 squeaker.
A Kacie Rewerts block put Nevada in front 25-24 in the second set and Morgan Tupper delivered the winning point.
North Polk regained its edge in the third set. The Comets rolled to a 25-18 victory, capped by a Jaedon Murphy kill.
In the fourth set, Nevada took advantage of clutch kills by Hannah Thomsen and Rewerts to build its big early lead. But the Cubs committed mistake after mistake during Aschoff’s serving stretch to allow North Polk to move in front, 15-12.
“We made too many unforced errors,” Stephenson said. “It cost us momentum that was hard to get back.”
The Comets eventually pushed their lead to 21-14 on a Sydney Anderson kill. Nevada fought back to within 24-19 after a Rewerts kill and North Polk error, but Bella Rademacher slammed the door on the Cubs with a kill from the right side for the final point.
Nevada finished the season at 22-18.
Tupper and Rewerts were fantastic for Nevada in a losing effort. Tupper had 20 assists, 17 digs, nine kills, three blocks and one ace and Rewerts 19 kills, seven digs and four aces.
Amanda Fortmann came up with 15 assists and 13 digs, Sydney Mosinski nine kills and three blocks and Hannah Thomsen seven kills, three digs and one assist for the Cubs. Ellie Gray chipped in 15 digs and seven assists, Jaeden Heintz 12 digs and a 19 of 19 serving effort, Madison Stevens 10 digs, Kelby Rewerts two kills and four digs and Mikayla Long two blocks and digs apiece.
North Polk advances to the semifinals to face Des Moines Christian with a 20-15 record. Aschoff had 22 digs and went 15 of 16 serving with an ace, Katie Scott totaled 23 digs and two aces, Liz Turk had 11 kills, Emily Byrd 19 assists and 11 digs and Bella Rademacher five kills and blocks apiece for the Comets.