Nevada goes 2-3 at SEP Invite

ALTOONA – The Nevada volleyball team endured a challenging day at the Southeast Polk Invitational Saturday as the Cubs posted a 2-3 record going up against bigger schools.

Nevada, the sixth-ranked team in Class 3A, defeated 4A foe Pella in the tournament and the rest of its matches came against 5A schools. The Cubs knocked off Des Moines North and they lost to West Des Moines Valley twice and Cedar Rapids Kennedy once as their season record moved to 8-5 at the conclusion of the tournament.

Nevada took down Pella in three sets. The Cubs destroyed the Little Dutch in the opening set, 25-8, but they had to scratch and claw the rest of the way to earn the victory.

The second set saw Pella hand Nevada a 25-20 loss. The Cubs came back to win the rally game in a squeaker, 16-14.

For the match Nevada had a .188 kill-efficiency rate with 28 kills and 12 errors in 85 attacks. The Cubs went 55 of 60 serving with seven aces and they picked up 39 digs and three blocks.

Megan Pringnitz and Kati Cassabaum both had nine kills for Nevada against Pella. They both chipped in four digs and Pringnitz also went 13 of 14 serving with four aces.

Mara Rhodes finished with four kills and two blocks and Emma Lodestein tallied three kills, one block and one ace. Abby Stephenson tacked on two kills and nine digs and Michaela Matuska handed out 22 assists and recorded three digs and one kill.

Jessica Helton led Nevada in digs versus the Little Dutch with 15 and she also went 13 of 14 serving with an ace.

Nevada swept North in convincing fashion. The Cubs clobbered the Polar Bears in both sets, winning 21-4 and 21-7.

Pringnitz totaled six kills, Stephenson had five, Cassabaum finished with four and Rhoades added three against North. Matuska handed out 15 assists and also went 10 of 11 serving with three aces and Helton and Erin Francis picked up two aces apiece.

The Cubs fell to Cedar Rapids Kennedy by scores of 21-17 and 21-12. Nevada had a .170 kill-efficiency rate with 17 kills and eight errors in the loss and the finished 26 of 30 serving with just one ace.

Cassabaum slammed home seven kills and added three digs and Pringnitz and Rhodes finished with three kills apiece versus Kennedy. Pringnitz also had four digs and Rhodes totaled two.

Helton led Nevada in digs with seven. Stephenson added four and Matuska finished with three.

Matuska also handed out 13 assists in the loss.

Nevada suffered two losses at the hands of Valley.

In one match Valley defeated Nevada by scores of 21-16 and 22-20. The Cubs had 32 digs, went 32 of 37 serving with five aces and recorded a .152 kill-efficiency rate with 21 kills and 11 errors in the setback.

Pringnitz totaled eight kills, five digs and an ace and Cassabaum finished with six kills. Stephenson added six digs and three kills, Lodestein finished with two kills and Matuska had 18 assists and 10 digs.

Nevada never got anything going in its other match-up with Valley, losing by scores of 25-15 and 25-14. The Cubs only had a .062 kill-efficiency rate and one ace in the loss.

Stephenson recorded seven digs, five kills and a block and Cassabaum put up six kills in the loss. Pringnitz finished with three kills and two digs, Rhodes and Francis each had four digs and one kill, Matuska dished out 15 assists and Helton delivered four digs.

ALLEMAN – Nevada took a huge step toward another Heart of Iowa Conference championship Sept. 12 with a sweep over North Polk in Alleman.

The Cubs (5-2, 3-0) won a hard-fought first set and turned in a strong showing in game two. They then came up with a strong rally in the third set to sew up the victory in North Polk’s first match in its new high school gym.

Nevada, ranked sixth in Class 3A, claimed a 25-22 in the opening set. The Cubs actually trailed most of the game after falling behind 4-0 early, but a Megan Pringnitz kill knotted the score at 16-16 and Jessica Helton followed with an ace to give Nevada the momentum.

The Cubs eventually built a 21-17 lead on a tip kill from Pringnitz. North Polk pulled as close as 22-21, but two more Pringnitz kills and a pair of Comet errors helped the Cubs seal the deal.

The second set saw Nevada jump out to a 16-10 lead. The Cubs were never threatened after thwat as a pair of Abby Stephenson kills and a Comet error helped Nevada close out a 25-17 victory.

The most impressive outing from Nevada came in the third set. The Cubs were completely flat to start the game and as result North Polk raced out to a 10-1 lead.

But Nevada wasn’t about to turn its attention toward playing a fourth set. Behind great serving from Stephenson the Cubs fought back to close the gap to 12-11.

Nevada eventually took a 15-14 lead on a block from Kati Cassabaum. The Cubs took the lead for good when Stephenson delivered a kill and Pringnitz followed with another tip kill for a 20-18 lead en route to a 25-21 victory.

"We never got down on ourselves," Stephenson said. "When we started going on that run you could just tell our energy was coming back stronger and we just finished out the game like we wanted to. It felt great."

The win follows up a sweep of Roland-Story last Tuesday in Story City. The Cubs also swept Gilbert in Huxley to start the season, giving them sweeps over likely their three toughest challengers to the HOIC crown to start conference play.

"We knew (North Polk) was going to be tough and them and Roland-Story probably were going to be the top two teams we had to beat if we were wanted to win conference again," Pringnitz said. "We’ve just really been preparing and focused on getting that conference championship like we won last year. We just really, really wanted it."

Pringnitz finished with 12 kills, 15 digs and three blocks in the victory. Stephenson tallied 13 digs and six kills and she added one ace on a 13 of 15 serving effort.

Helton and Erin Francis were huge in the back row as Helton had 22 digs and Francis finished with 17. Helton also went 18 of 19 serving with one ace.

Rhodes ended up with six kills and two blocks, Cassabaum had four kills and blocks apiece and Emma Lodestein picked up five blocks and two kills for Nevada. Michaela Matuska dished out 32 assists and she also went 11 of 11 serving and added seven digs and two blocks.

With the loss North Polk dropped to 9-5 overall and 0-1 in the HOIC.

Megan Murphy stepped up with 13 kills, seven digs and two blocks and Miranda Murphy tallied eight kills and six blocks for North Polk in a losing effort. Gracie Harmeyer also had a good individual night for the Comets as she finished with 18 assists and went 26 of 27 serving with four aces.

STORY CITY – Nevada made it clear it was still the measuring stick in the Heart of Iowa Conference Sept. 10 in Story City as the Cubs swept previously unbeaten Roland-Story.

Nevada turned in two strong efforts in the first two sets, winning by respective scores of 25-20 and 25-21. With the match on the line the Cubs kicked it into another gear for the third set, dominating to improve to 2-0 in the HOIC and drop Roland-Story to 6-1 overall and 1-1 in the conference.

The Cubs had a .133 kill-efficiency rate with 28 kills and 16 errors in 90 attacks. They also totaled eight blocks as a team and went 66 of 74 serving with nine aces.

Megan Pringnitz had nine kills and just four attack errors and Mara Rhodes finished with eight kills and only one error to lead a balanced Nevada attack at the net. Pringnitz also had six digs on the night.

Kati Cassabaum came through with five kills and two blocks, Abby Stephenson contributed four kills and two blocks and Emma Lodestein chipped in two kills and blocks apiece for Nevada. Stephenson also finished with seven digs and an ace and Lodestein was 17 of 18 serving with three aces.

Cub setter Michaela Matuska handed out 21 assists and she also tallied nine digs, two blocks and two aces. Jessica Helton led Nevada in digs with 12 and Erin Francis went 10 of 12 serving with a pair of aces.