Volleyball: No. 12 Wolves go 2-4 at Skip Anderson Classic
12th-ranked (Class 1A) Harris-Lake Park took its lumps and hopes to be the better team in the long run from it after going 2-4 at the second annual Skip Anderson Classic hosted by Bondurant-Farrar this past weekend.
The Wolves placed third in their pool after being locked in a three-way tie with a 1-2 record. H-LP defeated Boone 2-1 (14-21, 21-14, 15-10) and lost matches to Class 5A No. 3 Dubuque Hempstead (21-9, 21-6) and Des Moines Christian (18-21, 21-16, 16-14).
In the Bronze pool, H-LP finished 1-2 once again after faltering to North Polk in three sets (10-21, 21-14, 15-11) and Davis County in two sets (21-18, 21-18). The Wolves beat Gilbert 2-0 for their lone win, pulling out 21-13 and 21-19 wins.
"We are close. I want to say that the glass is half full, because we competed very well down there and hit well for the size of competition we went against," said Harris-Lake Park coach Daryl Meyer. "But we still need to work on serve receive against those bigger 3A, 4A and 5A schools, and that was realized against Dubuque. We were free balling the whole time, and that's why that match was such a wide margin, even though I thought the rest of the matches we did better. We still need our serving percentage to come up. We could've had four more wins if we'd done that. We started down 7-2 against Des Moines Christian and got beat in both those games, so if we'd played them even to 7-7 we would've beat them because we outpointed them in both of those games."
Hempstead, West Des Moines Valley and Waverly-Shell Rock all finished tied for first place with 5-1 records.
The Wolves were led offensively by Noreen Morrow with 49 kills (3.3 per set). Miranda Brueggeman was a force with 20 kills and a team-high 31 digs (2.1 per set). Katherin Ihnen added 16 kills, followed by Megan Garms with 12. Macy Gunderson also had eight kills with no hitting errors, 89 set assists and 25 digs.
Morrow was the top blocker with two solos and two assists. Mikey Heikens added one block solo and three assist and Garms added three block assists.
H-LP only served at 85.2 percent in six matches. Garms led the way, going 40-42 with six aces. Grace Heikens was also 24-27 with four aces. Grace Winters served up 11 aces in the tournament.
Regardless of his team's 2-4 record, Meyer was ecstatic that his team got to travel down to Bondurant to compete in such a high caliber tournament for the second year in a row.
"There's great competition down there and we love the opportunity to head down there," he said. "Thanks to all of our supporters that help us make that trip possible. It's a great way to spend some time bonding overnight in a hotel with the varsity kids, and hopefully we can reap the rewards down the road."
The Wolves are back on the court Tuesday night at the Okoboji quad.
"We're going to work on our serving numbers tonight. We only serve 85 percent, so we really want to push 90 percent and get one or two more serves in a game," Meyer said. "In a couple of rotations we want to make sure that we don't see any aces against us and we're hoping that we can raise our team hitting percentage. It'll be a different look than what we saw down there. We won't be the smallest team. We'll be even or maybe even bigger than a few of the teams tonight and that'll have a dramatic impact on how we hit."