Gehlen wins Sheldon Invitational
SHELDON — Class 1A No. 2 Gehlen Catholic claimed the team championship at the Sheldon Invitational on Saturday as they won all four of their matches on the day including the championship match against the host school.
“Today was a great day in our team’s development as we faced increasing difficult challenges as the day progressed,” Gehlen Catholic Head Coach Mike Meyer said. “While each player struggled at times in their own way, I was very pleased with how we responded overall to these challenges.”
Playing best of three sets to 21 points, the Jays needed all three sets to get the win over the Orabs in the title tilt. Gehlen won the first set 21-16, but fell in an extended second set with the Orabs winning 23-21. It is the first set the Jays have dropped so far this season. Gehlen pulled away in the final set for a 15-8 victory.
Katie Peters led the team with seven kills and was followed closely behind by Katelyn Langel and Sydney Livermore who had six apiece.
Chloe Bunkers topped the team with 13 digs while Peters ended with eight.
Anna Britt and Livermore each had a pair of aces at the service line with Livermore leading the way with 10 assists, two more than Britt.
The Lady Jays went perfect in pool play against other higher class schools. The team picked up their easiest win over a winless Sibley-Ocheyedan team by scores of 21-4 and 21-9. Britt and Livermore again led at the service line with Britt getting five aces and Livermore adding four.
Peters scored six kills while Katelyn Langel and Brooklyn Heissel added three apiece.
Central Lyon provided a stiffer challenge with the Jays winning 21-15 and 21-17. Katelyn Langel dominated the match with nine kills and a pair of blocks while Kate Hill followed with four kills.
Britt dug up nine balls while Bunkers and Heissel each had eight digs.
The team’s other pool play match came against Cherokee as the Jays won 21-19 and 21-12. This time Heissel led the team in kills as she had six, one more than Peters. Bunkers added three kills as she also led the team with 13 digs.
Meyer said the tournament provided the team experience which will hopefully help the team down the road.
“It was important that we faced teams that would make us play harder and faster, challenging us both offensively and defensively,” Meyer said. “Everyone had moments of genuine contribution to our team’s success. It was an important step in becoming the team that we hope to be. Newer players found that they need to play at a faster and more intense level and our returners learned that they had to step up and provide the leadership needed to persevere in trying circumstances.”
With the wins, Gehlen Catholic improved to 6-0 on the season.