C-N spikers make small strides in 2016

Joe Randleman, Staff Writer
Senior middle hitter Delaney McGill was a valuable contributor for the Colo-Nesco volleyball team this season.

The Colo-Nesco volleyball team made slight gains in the 2016 season, thanks to improved setting and serve receive.

The Royals went from 5-17 overall and 1-4 in the Iowa Star Conference last year to finishing 5-16 and 2-3 respectively in 2016.

“The most enjoyable part of the season was seeing the confidence grow within my athletes — the girls began to feel more comfortable with game play and that showed through their hard play and determination throughout the season,” Colo-Nesco head volleyball coach Jessica Heidemann said. “Our biggest challenge this year was consistency. Being a consist team in our serving and passing is something we struggled with throughout the year. Toward the end of the season we were starting to see more and more injuries as well, which was a challenge to overcome for some players.”

Colo-Nesco opened the conference season by winning one of its first six matches.

The Royals came up short against Madrid at home and then went 1-4 at the Meskwaki Invitational, with their victory coming over Ankeny Christian Academy.

Colo-Nesco earned its first victory with an exciting five-set triumph over CAL at home to open Iowa Star Conference play. The Royals then suffered road losses to Valley Lutheran and Clarksville.

On Sept. 15, Colo-Nesco downed Waterloo Christian in four sets on the road. The Royals made it back-to-back victories five days later with a four-set home win over Meskwaki.

The Royals suffered ISC losses Don Bosco and GMG on Sept. 22 and 27 respectively. On Oct. 1, Colo-Nesco competed in the Madrid Invitational and went 1-2 with a victory over Ankeny Christian Academy.

Colo-Nesco fell at home to North Tama on Oct. 4 and Ogden on Oct. 6. The Royals closed out the regular season with road losses to Van Meter and South Hardin.

The season came to a close Oct. 13 with a road loss to GMG in Class 1A regional play.

“The overall season went well for us,” Heidemann said. “Our team showed growth and we will continue to grow as years move forward. We were able to put in a few more set ups and switch things up a bit from the previous season. We ended our season 5-16 with a lot of things to continue to grow and learn from.”

As a team Colo-Nesco had 297 kills with 299 errors in 1,022 attacks. The Royals averaged 4.64 kills, 1.83 aces, 6.27 digs and 0.45 blocks per set.

Senior Kassie Robinson was second-team all-ISC at outside hitter and sophomore libero Emma Sarver made all-conference honorable mention for the Royals this season.

Robinson had 74 kills, 58 digs, 27 aces and three blocks. Sarver finished with 182 digs and 17 aces.

Senior Delaney McGill had 52 kills, 12 aces and six blocks at middle hitter and freshman outside hitter Rylee Purvis came up with 40 kills, 13 digs, 11 aces and two blocks. Senior right-side hitter Hallie Riese totaled 36 kills, 24 aces, 15 digs and four blocks and junior middle hitter Molly Barten came up with 32 kills and seven blocks.

Junior setter Chelsea Henze produced 96 assists, 30 digs, 28 kills and 20 aces. Junior Riley Reischauer also helped out at setter, registering 76 assists, two aces and two kills.

Sophomore Lauren Riese put up 25 kills, seven digs, five blocks and two aces. Junior Halley Buseman had three kills and two aces, assists and blocks apiece.

Jazmine Voelker and Lindsey Riese helped out in the back row for Colo-Nesco. Voelker produced 36 digs and one kill and Lindsey Riese ended up with 40 digs.

Colo-Nesco will lose a valuable core of players in Robinson, McGill, Hallie Riese and Voelker.

“Looking at the four starting seniors we are losing this season; they should leave with nothing but being proud for the contribution they made for our team,” Heidemann said. “They were great leaders this year who worked hard to end on a positive season.”

But there is enough talent coming back for Colo-Nesco to take bigger steps forward in 2017.

“Moving forward into next season, we will look to continue to build on our offensive and defensive skills,” Heidemann said. “We will continue to look to use our right-side hitting as a possible advantage and continue to grow as strong hitters. Consistency in serving and reworking our serves will be big for us next year as well.”