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  • Keith Hjelle

AC/GC Volleyball Tops Five Teams En Route to Its Own Tourney Title

Is ACGC volleyball coach Lyndsey Noe clairvoyant or does she just have a lot of confidence in her team? After last Tuesday’s loss at Van Meter, the Charger mentor was quoted as saying, “I am looking to play at home this weekend and win our tournament. We’ve had a lot of road games and I think some home court advantage will give us the boost we need to capture more wins.” Regardless of whether it is clairvoyance or confidence, the coach’s words came true on Saturday when the Chargers went 5-0 to capture the ACGC Volleyball Invitational. Of the thirteen matches the team had played going into Saturday, only one had been played at home, so it was time for the Chargers to play on their own court. And they did it exceedingly well!

Noe heaped praise on her squad for its efforts. “Winning the tournament was a total team effort. Everyone contributed and played hard all day. Senior captains Mady Smith and Makayla Hoing earned all tournament honors by leading the team in kills with Chelsea Larsen assisting them. Olivia Laabs and Genevieve Hoover had a great day at the serving line, and defensively nothing was getting by them. Jadyn Carrick, Savana Fuller, and Sierra O’Brien were forces at the net with strong blocks and clutch kills.”

The Chargers faced Underwood in the first round of pool play, defeating the Eagles in two sets, 21-16 and 21-10. With the score knotted at 8-8 in the first set, ACGC scored five consecutive points with MaKayla Hoing serving to pull away for the victory. Their was no doubt about the outcome of the second set, as the Chargers jumped out to a 13 to 3 lead including a run of eleven consecutive points with Olivia Laabs at the serve. Makayla Hoing led the team in hitting with 9 kills on 16 attack attempts. Laabs was the serving leader with 16 successful serves out of 17 serves. She also led the team in digs with 9 and Chelsea Larsen had 9 assists.

In the second round the Chargers faced a solid CR-B team which dealt ACGC its only set loss of the day. The Chargers took set one, 21-14, lost to the Crusaders in set two, 21-16, and dominated in the third set, 15-6, for the match win. The statistics for the Chargers were some of the best for the season, as the team’s kill efficiency was 40% and its serve efficiency was a season high 94%. Hoing again led in kills with 8 out of 16 attack attempts. Several Chargers had great serving success with Laabs going 13 for 13, Mady Smith 8 for 8, and Hoing 11 for 12. Smith also led the team in assists with 10, while Genevieve Hoover was the leader in digs with 11, closely followed by Hoing and Laabs with 10 each.

In its final pool play match, the Chargers were never challenged and dominated Glidden-Ralston, 21-11 and 21-6. Hoing was the attack leader with 8 kills in 13 attempts, while Mady Smith added 5 kills in 8 attempts. Smith also led in serving with perfect 12 for 12 efficiency and also tied for tops in assists with Larsen at 9 apiece.

In the semifinals ACGC faced Audubon, a team the Charges handled with relative ease in late August. Saturday Audubon presented more of a challenge, as the Chargers had to come from behind in set one to notch the win. Trailing 7-1 early in the set, ACGC slowly closed the gap and finally took the lead for good at 16-15 before going on to a 21-16 win. The second set was more clear cut for the Chargers in a 21-10 victory. The statistics were very balanced in the Audubon match, as Hoing had 5 kills while Savana Fuller, Laabs, and Smith each had 2. Smith went 8 for 8 on serves, with Hoing at 6 for 7, and Hoover at 9 for 11. Five players had at least three digs, while Larsen and Smith led in assists with 4 each.

That put the Chargers in the championship match versus Colfax-Mingo which was also undefeated headed into the finals. ACGC took the early lead in both sets and went on to win by identical scores of 21-14. Hoing once again led in kills with 7 in 22 attempts, while Smith had 4 in 5 attempts. Laabs was the top server, going 14 for 16, with Smith going 7 for 7 and Hoover 6 for 7. Laabs and Hoing had 5 digs each, while Savana Fuller added 4. Larsen led in assists with 11.

Although the same five or six girls seem to consistently lead the team in statistics, this Charger team is a coordinated unit that plays unselfishly in its endeavors toward success. Others who played on Saturday included starter Jadeyn Carrick, and reserves Samantha Sloss, and Mackenzie Davis.

The five wins on Saturday lift the team’s overall record to 13-5. The home stand will continue this week when the Chargers will entertain conference foes Des Moines Christian on Tuesday, September 20 and Ogden on Thursday, the 22nd. Freshman matches will begin at 5 PM with junior varsity and varsity matches to follow.

Noe concluded her comments by saying, “This is definitely the momentum we need going into this week with the big conference matches with Des Moines Christian and Ogden.”

NOTE: Complete statistics for each match can be found on the website by clicking on Activity Link, then Volleyball, and then Stats which will take you to Quick Stats on the Iowa High School Girls’ Athletic Union website. Once there, click on All Teams and you can find ACGC listed first. Click on ACGC; then click on Load List; then click on the blue ACGC in the lower left. Now you are on the page that lists all of the matches that the Chargers have played. Click on the score of the match you choose and the statistics for that match will “magically” appear! This is not nearly as complicated as it may appear, and it provides all of us with lots of good information.

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