- Keth Hjelle
Volleyball Triangular Resembles 19th Century Novel
Although Tuesday night's volleyball triangular was officially a "Coaches vs. Cancer" event, for the three teams that competed on the Charger court, it seemed more like a "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" event. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Henry Jekyll was a successful doctor, a man of high moral character. Through the ingestion of a serum the good doctor's personality was transformed into Mr. Edward Hyde, a man of lesser moral character who committed several heinous acts. Although there were no heinous acts committed by any of the teams--Madrid, CR-B, and ACGC--, all three teams seemed to change personalities from one match to the next. In one match a team would play very well and in the next match they would play--well, not so well.
ACGC and Madrid opened the triangular with a West Central Activities Conference match. With a first division finish still a possibility, the Chargers came ready to play and topped the Tigers in straight sets, 25-22, 25-17, and 25-15. The Chargers played better with each set on its way to the win. Although Madrid challenged in the first set, the Chargers dominated the last two sets, while Madrid seemed to lose its way. Dr. Jekyll=ACGC. Mr. Hyde=Madrid.
The statistics on the match were impressive for the Chargers, as the team's kill efficiency of 33.3% was well above the season average of 18.5% and the serve efficiency was at 90.5%, also higher than the season average of 82%. Jadeyn Carrick, Olivia Laabs, and Mady Smith each recorded 9 kills out of 21, 17, and 15 attempts respectively. Smantha Sloss led the serving with a perfect 12 for 12 performance, while Chelsea Larsen went 16 for 17 and Genevieve Hoover was 13 for 14. Larsen led in assists with 22 and Laabs had a team high 22 digs.
The second match of the night brought Madrid and Coon Rapids-Bayard together. CRB looked like anything but the Rolling Valley Conference champion that it is, as it fell in straight sets, 21-12 and 21-9. Madrid, on the other hand looked very sharp in the convincing win. Dr. Jekyll=Madrid. Mr. Hyde=CRB.
Clearly, if we were to base a prediction for the final match between CRB and ACGC on their previous performances, the Chargers would win easily. Didn't happen. The fired up Crusaders were seeking redemption after their poor performance vs. Madrid, and they were successful. The Crusaders defeated the host school 21-16 and 21-12. The Chargers simply didn't look like the team that defeated Madrid. Dr. Jekyll=CRB. Mr. Hyde=ACGC.
The team stats on this match reveal the contrast with the Madrid match. With a kill efficiency of a NEGATVE 15% and a serve efficiency of only 79%, the Chargers s were clearly not on their game.
All in all, it was a very unusual evening of volleyball. But then it is October, and strange things happen in October.
The win and loss put the ACGC record at 19-9 overall and 4-4 in the WCAC. If Ogden loses to either Des Moines Christian or Woodward-Granger and if Madrid defeats Earlham, the Chargers 4-4 mark will guarantee at least a tie for fourth place in the conference race.
The Chargers will have little time to lick their wounds, as Exira-Elkhorn-Kimballton will be coming to town on Thursday, Oct. 12 for a non-conference tilt. It is the final regular season game and will also be senior night for the Charger seniors. The following seniors will be honored before the varsity match: Hailey Bates (manager), MacKenzie Davis, MaKayla Hoing, Morgan Meacham, Haley Sheeder (injured), and Mady Smith.