by Steve Peterson
Winning for the fifth time in their last seven matches, the Akron-Westfield volleyball team notched a post-season triumph with a 3-0 sweep of Siouxland Christian in the first round of regional play Oct. 16.
A-W won 25-18, 25-17 and 25-13.
“It’s a great feeling to go from the first round to the second round. We’re playing our most consistent volleyball. Emily Miller, Bethany Eastman and Kayla Tindall really stepped up,” said A-W Coach Mollie Koopmans.
A-W played Remsen Union, which had downed Remsen-St. Mary’s, 3-0, in another Class 1A first round match, on Oct. 23 at home. A win advanced the Lady Westerners to an Oct. 26 match at A-W with a chance to go for the regional final, which is Oct. 31 at Sioux Center. All matches begin at 7 p.m.
Koopmans noted more aggressive serving has helped the Lady Westerners of late.
Last Tuesday, Eastman had five kills, led with 20 attack attempts, had one dig and one block assist. She was 11-for-12 serving with one ace.
Miller also had five kills. She had two digs and one block assist.
Tindall contributed three kills and was 13-for-17 serving with two aces.
Setter Dana Hedlund lofted up 19 assists. She had 11-for-12 serving with an ace.
Libero Jordan Hansen had 11 digs and was 7-for-9 serving. Kortney Hedlund had seven digs and was 10-for-11 serving.
In the first set, A-W grabbed an 8-5 lead with Eastman serving an ace and Haley Coyle registering one of her four kills.
The Lady Eagles fought hard in the set with A-W having a 14-10 lead. A four-point run gave the Lady Westerners an 18-10 lead. The Lady Eagles had another comeback for an 18-16 deficit but Dana Hedlund served for four points, and Eastman finished off the set.
Set two was similar with A-W picking up a 10-6 lead. A kill by Tindall made it 13-6, causing a Siouxland Christian timeout.
Kortney Hedlund served for four straight points and the Lady Westerners finished off the set.
A-W looked most impressive in a 9-3 start to the third set and kept at least a five-point lead and finished with a 7-1 run.
Siouxland Christian saw its season end with a 6-15 record.
A-W finished the War Eagle Conference play with a 6-4 record and in fourth place.
A-W vs. Siouxland Christian:
Coyle: 4 kills, 2 kill errors, 14 attack attempts; 1 assist; 3 digs; 1 block assist; 1 total block; 8-for-10 serving, 1 ace; Eastman: 5 kills, 1 kill error, 20 attack attempts, 1 dig, 1 block assist, 1 total block, 11-for-12 serving, 1 ace; Hansen: 3 attack attempts, 11 digs, 7-for-9 serving; Dana Hedlund: 2 attack attempts, 19 assists, 1 dig, 1 block assist, 1 total block, 11-for-12 serving, 1 ace; Kortney Hedlund: 1 kill error, 1 attack attempt, 7 digs, 10-for-11 serving; Miller: 5 kills, 1 kill error, 13 attack attempts, 2 digs, 1 block assist, 1 total block; Desi Oltmanns: 3 digs; Sarah Schroeder: 2 kills, 1 kill error, 12 attack attempts; 1 solo block, 1 total block; Tindall: 3 kills, 13 attack attempts, 4 digs, 13-for-17 serving, 2 aces; Cali Westergard: 1 kill, 3 attack attempts, 1 solo block; 0-for-1 serving.
Team: 20 kills, 6 kill errors, 81 attack attempts, 20 assists, 32 digs, 4 block assists, 2 solo blocks, 6 total blocks, 60-for-72 serving, 0.833 percent, 5 aces.