- Keith Hjelle
Host Chargers Drop a Pair to W-G and Audubon in Volleyball Triangular
This writer can't speak for anyone else, but it was with eager anticipation that I was looking forward to Thursday night's volleyball matches in a triangular played on the Charger home court. Conference perennial contender Woodward-Granger and non-conference neighbor Audubon were to provide the competition. The Chargers headed into last night's conference match with a 2-0 record in WCAC play and an overall mark of 4-1. After a significant conference win over Van Meter twelve days ago, it seemed the Chargers were on the cusp of making some waves in conference play. A win over W-G would solidify ACGC as a legitimate contender in the conference, and put the Chargers on a collision course with defending conference champion Des Moines Christian. And if the Chargers could knock off W-G, surely Audubon would be no problem as the Wheelers came into town with a losing record at 2-5.
Perhaps it was the huge downpour that hit Guthrie Center just prior to the the competition that put a figurative damper on things, as eager anticipation wasn't enough to propel the Chargers to victory. There were moments of superlative play by the Charger girls, but not consistently enough to defeat either the Hawks or the Wheelers.
The evening began with a best of five set match with W-G, with the Hawks taking control from the beginning in set one with a 3-0 lead that extended to 7-3 before the Chargers had a 4-0 run of their own to knot the score at 7-7. W-G retook the lead at 8-7 and never surrendered it to capture set one, 25-17.
ACGC played is best volleyball of the night in set two, as it broke away from an 11-11 tie on a big block by Savana Fuller followed soon thereafter by Fuller's kill to take a 12-11 lead and begin a 6-0 run to pull away for a 25-17 set two win.
The Hawks came back with a vengeance in set three as they sprinted out to a 7-0 lead and never looked back in a 25-11 win to take a 2-1 set lead. The Chargers were unable to regain the momentum and fell in set four by a 25-14 score, giving the Hawks the WCAC win.
The statistics for the match reveal the same thing that happened on the court. ACGC had gone four consecutive matches with a serve efficiency of better than 90%, but against the Hawks, it dropped to 82%. No doubt this played a factor in the outcome. Jadeyn Carrick went 7 for 7, and Olivia Laabs was 15 of 16, but overall the team was 46 of 56. Chloe Largent was the leader in kills with 13 and had a kill efficiency of .303, but no one else was above .250. Audrey Stowe had all the Charger assists with 30, while"G" Hoover and Laabs had 16 and 14 digs respectively. Largent and Carrick led in blocks with 4 apiece. "G" had 3 aces from the serving line.
The ACGC vs. Audubon match could not have been any closer, as the Wheelers topped the locals in straight sets, 26-24 and 25-23, in the best two of three match. The Chargers led in the first set 23-20 before Audubon rallied to outscore the home team 6-1 down the stretch. In set two the Wheelers dominated early and led 20-13 before the Chargers made a run to close the gap to a single point at 24-23, only to see the visitors capture the final point and the victory.
Serving efficiency was again lower than normal versus the Wheelers, as the team had an efficiency rating of 85%. Stowe and Jorja Hoover each went 9 of 10 from the serving line. The Charger came up with only 3 blocks in the shortened match. Largent had 8 kills, while Carrick contributed 7.
And so, my eager anticipation turned into disappointment as our Chargers and their fans failed to experience that sweet taste of victory last night. However, a night of loss does not a season make. The season is young and so are our Chargers. And so is my anticipation.
The team will travel to Griswold this Saturday, Sept. 8 for a tournament and will return home next Tuesday to face Earlham in a WCAC match.
Line score vs. W-G Line score vs. Audubon
W-G 25 17 25 25 Aud 26 25
ACGC 17 25 11 14 ACGC 24 23