It is volleyball tournament time and the Pella Christian Eagles are feeling it. The Eagles made the trek across the river to visit Marion County neighbor, Pleasantville, Monday night and blew through the Pleasantville gym with the ferocity of a summer thunderstorm rolling through the county.
The Eagles came into the match with a record of 18-20 and needing two more wins just to get to .500. But playing in the rugged Little Hawkeye Conference left them battle tested and ready for the Class 2-A tournament trail. After disposing of the I-35 Roadrunners last week, Pleasantville was the next stop.
The Eagles wasted no time in getting down to business in game one as the serving of Molly Bolt, Sarah Gritters, Lizzy Posthuma and Natalie Harrill produced a 20-4 lead on their way to a 25-8 win. In that opening salvo Emma Dunsbergen Put down a pair of kills and a pair of blocks, Avey Amelse nailed a pair of kills and Posthuma, Bolt and Gritters each had ace serves.
Amelse got the Eagles off on the right foot in game two with an ace serve which was followed by blocks by Bolt and Posthuma and a hitting error by the Trojans to give the Eagles a quick 4-0 lead. A block by Pleasantville’s Sam Entinger cut the lead to 4-2, but Posthuma served up the next six points for a 10-2 Pella Christian lead. In that run Gritters had a pair of blocks and a kill and Trinity Vos added a block.
After a time out, the Trojans began to regroup and led by the hitting of Entinger and the blocking and serving of Ali Adreon they started to whittle away at the big lead. Pleasantville cut the lead to 21-17 with an ace serve by Adreon, but that would be as close as the Trojans would get. A pair of aces by Anna Van Zee and kills by Dunsbergen and Gritters salted away a 25-18 Eagle win.
Pleasantville made a determined bid to gain a win in game three, but they could never gain a lead. Twice the Trojans battled back to tie the score and midway through the game they trailed by only two at 11-9. The Eagles then hit a 6-1 run to stretch their lead to 17-10 on their way to a 25-17 win.
“We took our licks in the Little Hawkeye Conference,” PC Coach Joanna Settles said. “But that competition really prepared us for this. The speed and the tempo played in the LHC were to our advantage. Especially in game one where we had a quick start.”
Posthuma led the servers with 18-of-19 serves in and two aces and Amelse was 12-of-15 with a pair of aces.
Trojan Coach Joel Allman felt that the tempo of the game was the difference.
“The tempo of the game was fast,” Allman said. “They got us out of sync and took us out of the game. We knew they were good and we told our kids that this was not a .500 team. We were not able to adjust in game one, but we bounced back and played better in games two and three. We finished at 16-9 and that is the best Pleasantville record in many years.”
Serving – Amber Mckinney 8/8, Ali Adreon 6/7 1A, Breanna Benge 8/10, Noa Sample 5/6 1A, Emily Smith 4/5, Sam Entinger 3/6.
Kills – Entinger 12
Blocks – Adreon 3, Olivia Anthony 2.
Digs – Benge 19, McKinney 12, Entinger 11, Sample 4, Smith 4, McGriff 3, Adreon 3, Anthony 1.
Assists – Adreon 11, Entinger 1, McGriff 1, McKinney 1.