SUBSCRIBE NOW

Norse get Geise her 300th victory in opening quadrangular: No. 11 R-S goes 7-1 to start the season

Joe Randleman
Story City Herald
Reagan Vogelaar goes up for a kill attempt during Roland-Story's opening match with Central Springs at the Norse quadrangular meet Aug. 24 in Story City.

TAMA — The Roland-Story volleyball team turned in a runner-up performance at the Meskwaki Invitational Saturday.

The Norse, ranked 11th in Class 3A, went 4-1 during the tournament to put their season record at 7-1.

Roland-Story swept Belle Plaine (21-10, 21-6) and Meskwaki (21-12, 21-5) and took down Vinton-Shellsburg in three sets during pool play. The Norse dropped the first set against Vinton-Shellsburg by a 21-14 score, but came back with a 21-17 win in the second set then dominated the rally game by a 15-3 score.

Belle Plaine entered the tournament ranked eighth in 1A.

In the championship bracket Roland-Story downed traditional power North Tama in the semifinals. The Norse swept the Redhawks, winning a pair of hotly-contested 21-19 affairs.

The championship match saw Roland-Story take on a Denver team rated 11th in 2A. The Norse were swept by scores of 21-15 and 22-20 to suffer their first loss of the season.

For the tournament setter Madison Geise had 50 assists, 16 kills, 15 digs and four blocks. She also went 42 of 43 serving with nine aces.

Reagan Schmitz totaled 27 digs and seven kills and she was 33 of 35 serving with an ace. Reagan Barkema recorded 16 kills and four blocks and was 38 of 41 serving with 12 aces.

Ava Charlson finished with 52 digs and was a perfect 26 of 26 serving with three aces. Dani Grady contributed 28 digs and was 22 of 24 serving with two aces and Megan Greenfield finished with 15 kills, 14 digs and five blocks.

Madison Martindale puts the ball back over the net against South Hamilton.

Madison Martindale tacked on 12 kills and two blocks and Jadyn Nelson five kills and three digs. Reagan Faber had eight digs and four aces, Reagan Vogelaar two kills and digs apiece and Ally Ringsby one dig and a 6 of 6 serving effort.

Roland-Story head volleyball coach Molly Geise celebrates the final point of the Norse's second set with Central Springs as the Norse bench cheers behind her during the Norse triangular meet to start the season Aug. 24. The victory was the 300th of Geise's career.

STORY CITY — It was a long wait, but career victory number 300 finally came for Roland-Story head volleyball coach Molly Geise.

Geise picked up her landmark win during the Norseman quadrangular meet to open the season. She had been stuck on 299 wins since the Class 3A regional quarterfinals of 2019, a Norse sweep over Iowa Falls-Alden.

Union knocked off Roland-Story in the regional semifinals to end the Norse’s 2019 campaign. That forced Geise to wait nearly 10 months before getting another shot at No. 300. 

The wait could’ve been a lot longer due to COVID-19. Thanks to the state and the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union fall high school sports were allowed to commence in 2020.

There was a lot of anticipation for Geise’s 300th win. But it was the furthest thing from the Norse coach’s mind.

 Sophomore Sophie Lively found out she had to have surgery just before the start of the season. The Roland-Story communities were hit hard by the derecho storm that hit two weeks ago and school started up this week. 

Members of the Roland-Story volleyball team wore purple ribbons on their shoes during their opening quadrangular meet Aug. 24 in Story City. The Norse were honoring teammate Sophie Lively, who underwent successful surgery earlier in the day.

“It’s been kind of hectic with all the stuff we’ve got going on,” Geise said. “I’ve been so busy I’d kind of forgotten about it.”

But her players didn’t. Roland-Story wasted no time achieving the milestone for their coach. 

“We thought that’d be awesome to get it first game out,” Junior setter and Coach Geise’s daughter Madison Geise said. “She puts in so much for us so we just wanted to give back a little bit.” 

The Norse, ranked 11th in 3A to start the season, swept Central Springs in the opening match of Monday’s quadrangular in decisive fashion, 25-14 and 25-10.  

“It was fun to do it with this group,” Molly Geise said. “They’re so fun to be around.”

Coach Geise has been Roland-Story’s head volleyball coach since 2004 and her daughter sure appreciated getting to play a part in helping her mom make history.

“I’ve been here since almost the beginning, but I’ve never been on the balls that you sign for the 100th and 200th victories,” Madison Geise said. “I finally get to be part of it, so it’s pretty special.”

Roland-Story struggled early in the first set against Central Springs before coming on late to pull away. Needing to claim just one more set for a sweep and win No. 300 for Coach Geise the Norse jumped out to a 14-1 lead in the second set and never looked back.

The Norse didn’t just play for their coach on Monday. Earlier that day Lively underwent successful surgery to remove a rare soft tissue sarcoma.

The Roland-Story players decided to wear purple ribbons on their shoes to honor Lively.

“This whole year has been a reminder that you should appreciate being able to play,” Molly Geise. “She was not expecting this, but we’re hoping that she can come back. It was neat to look in the crowd and see people wearing purple — that’s her favorite color.”

The other two matches for Roland-Story at the quadrangular were against Webster City and Heart of Iowa Conference rival South Hamilton. The Norse rolled Webster City by 25-18 and 25-11 scores then took care of business against South Hamilton, 25-15 and 25-17.

Madison Geise had 54 assists and eight kills over the three matches. Middle blocker Reagan Barkema contributed 20 kills, five blocks and four aces.

“We just played our volleyball,” Barkema said. “We just stuck to what we do and put the ball away when we needed to.”

Regan Schmitz contributed 16 digs and nine kills. Even though she’s just 5-4, Schmitz was moved from the back row to outside hitter this season and she showed size wasn’t going to be an issue on Monday.

“It’s one of our secret weapons because I’m 5-4,” Schmitz said. “Nobody thinks I can jump, but I’ve got some hops. It’s fun to get the blocks when no one expects it - the student section goes crazy.”

Senior outside hitter Megan Greenfield added 16 kills for Roland-Story on the evening. Libero Ava Charlson had 14 digs and three aces, Dani Grady chipped in 15 digs and Madison Martindale contributed six kills.