Gehlen wins sixth straight by sweeping Trinity
LE MARS — The Gehlen Catholic volleyball team is in the midst of a season-best stretch of six consecutive wins with the latest being a sweep of Trinity Christian in War Eagle Conference action Thursday.
“Tonight we got a pretty solid effort with our offense and also our serving,” Gehlen Head Coach Mike Meyer said. “We hit over .300 as a team and I was most pleased that we got our middle hitters, Miyah and Rachel, untracked. Combined they hit over .500.”
Rachel Langel led the Gehlen offense with nine kills. Miyah Whitehead joined Alyssa Kolbeck as players who each had six kills. Sydney Livermore finished with five along with a pair of blocks and seven assists.
The Lady Jays dropped one spot to No. 6 in the latest rankings released Thursday despite being on a winning streak following a loss to Newell-Fonda in pool play action at the start of the Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn tournament.
Trinity was at that same tourney, but did not face the Jays there as they lost to Newell-Fonda in the semifinal round before the Jays avenged their loss to the Mustangs in the finals.
Gehlen faced little resistance from the Tigers after the midway point in the first set as the Jays outscored their opponent 11-3 down the stretch to come away with a 25-12 win.
“We came out a little tight early in the first set but then buckled down and played well,” Meyer said.
Chloe Bunkers hit back-to-back ace serves late in the set before a violation by the Tigers gave Gehlen the clinching point of the frame.
The Jays continued their momentum into the second, scoring the first 10 points of the frame. Josie Kolbeck kept the Jays going with her serves during the stretch including getting one for an ace. Trinity finally ended the run by a tip from the middle which fell in the open space between all of the Gehlen defenders.
Trinity did string together a few points after that before Gehlen finished off the set by a 25-7 score. Bunkers again had consecutive ace serves late in the set and Whitehead came away with the winning kill off the block and down for the point.
Gehlen scored the opening five points of the third set with Josie Kolbeck again earning an ace during the run. She finished with three aces in the match and was the team’s assist leader with 20.
The Tigers had another quick burst in them, getting an ace from Belle Schiermeyer as they pulled to within one at 6-5. That was as close as the Tigers would get as Gehlen extended the game out to a modest lead before scoring six straight points to make it 23-13 as the team was able to bring players in off the bench at the end of the game. Bunkers capped off the 25-15 win as her serve was misplayed by the Tigers. She ended a perfect 20-of-20 on her serves with six aces.
Meyer said serving was good with a 95 percent success rate and 14 aces.
“Chloe and Josie had terrific nights in the service box,” Meyer said.
Gehlen improves to 19-7 following the win and is now 5-2 in War Eagle Conference matches. The team will have a week until their next match when West Sioux will visit for the regular season home finale for the Jays on Thursday.