AMES - Nevada made sure it had no let down in its match with Ames Thursday, sweeping the Little Cyclones on their home floor for its 30th victory of the season.
The Cubs, ranked No. 13 in Class 3A, were coming off a big victory over No. 12 (4A) Gilbert to win the Heart of Iowa Conference championship last Tuesday. But they had little trouble with Ames, using a big early run in each set to coast to 25-13, 25-15 and 25-11 victories.
“We wanted to come out and show Tuesday wasn’t a fluke,” Nevada setter Morgan Tupper said. “We wanted to be like this is how good we are and this is how hard we’ve worked. We came out with a lot of energy and (good) teamwork and that got us the win tonight.”
In the first set Nevada went on a 6-0 run sparked by strong serving from Aubrey Gibson to take a 13-6 lead. A Sydney Mosinski kill and Ames error finished off the victory.
Ames came out strong in the second set. A Caroline Wolters kill gave the Little Cyclones an early 4-3 lead and they eventually pushed it out to 7-5.
The score was tied at 9-9 when Nevada went on a 7-0 run to break it open. Kacie Rewerts served well during the stretch and Hannah Thomsen also came up with two big kills to help the Cubs take control and coast to victory.
Ames took a 3-2 lead to start the third set. But Nevada responded with a 7-0 run capped by a Thomsen ace and the Cubs never trailed again.
“Our game at Gilbert and our game tonight we were really able to serve-receive very well,” Rewerts said. “Also (we) moved our feet on defense to get balls to Morgan so that our hitters could put the ball down.”
Rewerts finished with 10 kills, Thomsen eight, Katelyn Kinsbury four and Mosinski for Nevada. Mosinski and Kingsbury added three blocks apiece and Rewerts finished with eight digs and two blocks.
Lily Goos stepped up in the middle for Nevada in the final set. She had three kills and blocks apiece.
Tupper handed out 23 assists and Gray had six digs and five aces. Gibson and Bridget Patterson each added one ace to help Nevada end its regular season with a 30-9 record.
Ames fell to 9-23.
GILBERT - Nevada made sure everyone knows it’s still the top dog in the Heart of Iowa Conference, in a showdown with Gilbert Oct. 15.
The Cubs, ranked 13th in Class 3A, swept the No. 12 team in 4A with ease to earn their seventh HOIC title in eight years.
“We’ve worked so hard for this,” Nevada senior outside hitter Kacie Rewerts said. “We knew that we had to be aggressive to be beat them and we did that in our serve receive and our block and our hits. All our hard work just showed tonight and it was a lot of fun.”
Nevada rolled to a 25-19 victory in the first set capped by a Hannah Thomsen kill. In the second set the Cubs weren’t challenged at all, jumping out to a 12-3 lead and rolling to a 25-11 victory.
The third set saw the Cubs roar out to a 13-3 lead and Gilbert never had a chance. Nevada prevailed, 25-10, with an Aubrey Gibson ace finishing off the victory
With the victory Nevada finished 7-0 in the HOIC. The Cubs improved to 29-9 overall.
Sydney Mosinski was an absolute force for Nevada at middle hitter. She overpowered the Gilbert front line all match with the help of outstanding quick sets from Morgan Tupper.
“We had really good passes tonight,” Mosinski said. “Morgan just kept getting those sets there so we could dominate and kill the ball.”
Mosinski dominated despite going up against an outstanding foe in Gilbert middle hitter Haleigh Hadley - an Iowa State recruit. Mosinski finished with 16 kills with only three errors on 21 attacks and she added five blocks.
“She’s a really good player so it was kind of scary to go up against her,” Mosinski said of facing Hadley. “But I knew if I just pushed over the block and we had good passes and good sets from Morgan we could get them.”
Nevada’s block made it so the back row could cut off the open lanes for the Gilbert attackers.
“For block we just moved our feet and hit our assignments,” Rewerts said. “That helped the defense not have to worry about the zones the block was covering.”
Another key for the Cubs was the play of right-side hitter Hannah Thomsen. Thomsen stepped up her role as a server, recording five aces.
“It was kind of different because normally my role isn’t as big in serving,” Thomsen said. “But it was really awesome to see other players step up.”
Nevada ended up putting on an absolute clinic at the net. Thanks to great passing from the back row and Tupper’s outstanding sets, the Cub hitters recorded an amazing 45 kills against only nine errors in 93 attacks.
Rewerts ended up with 13 kills, Thomsen five and Tupper three. Katelyn Kingsbury added four, Shelbi Hazlitt three and Lily Goos one.
The scary thing is the Cubs feel they can do even better.
“We still believe that wasn’t the best ball that we could play,” Thomsen said. “It’s really awesome to think going forward into regional play and hopefully state that we can continue to step up our game.”
Tupper also dished out 41 assists and had seven digs and two blocks. Rewerts added 11 digs and one block, Ellie Gray 19 digs and one assist, Erin Coogler two digs, Gibson two aces and Maddie Dunham one ace.
Gilbert finished 6-1 in the conference and fell to 29-9 overall. Thea Rotto had seven kills and six digs, Hadley four kills and blocks apiece and Nessa Johnson nine digs and eight assists for the Tigers.