Iowa volleyball: Sheldon set up for success
SHELDON, Iowa — The Sheldon Orabs volleyball team, ranked second in Iowa’s Class 3A, didn’t finish last season the way they would have hoped, with a loss to Unity Christian in the opening round of the postseason.
Coming into 2013, the squad won its first 17 outings and has given up just three matches for the year. With its nine seniors and six juniors the team has, it has been an exciting year to say the least, on the court in Orab Country.
“It has been a very exciting season for me as a coach, but more so for the girls thus far,” Sheldon volleyball coach Eric Maassen exclaimed. “They’re a great group to be around. We have been able to use the experience we gained from having seven girls back from last year who had significant experience.”
Sheldon senior Jessica VanBeek has led the pack thus far, having 279 kills to her name through the Orabs’ first 26 matches. It is a mark that is third-best in the state across all of Class 3A. Sheldon’s Marti Vogel has 28 aces for the year while two others join her with over 20, including Kayla Johnson (27) and Allsion Jongewaard (24).
Johnson has hit the deck to lead her team with 257 digs, while senior MacKensey Radke has 42 blocks. Three Orabs also have over 30 blocks so far.
Sheldon learned last week it will host Estherville-Lincoln Central in the first round of Region 1 volleyball play, on Monday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. Classes 1A, 2A, 4A, and 5A across the Hawkeye State learned their fate last week, too, as the homestretch nears. The E-LC Midgets currently sit at 5-13 with four matches to go.
“Making it to the state tournament is certainly a goal of ours, but we’re concerned right now about finishing out the regular season strong and not trying to look ahead,” Maassen said. “The key to our success has been and will continue to be focusing on ourselves and playing our best with great energy every time out on the floor.”
Classes 1A and 2A learn their fate for Regionals
In Class 1A’s Region 1 of postseason volleyball action, Harris-Lake Park receives a first round bye and will await the winner of a Tuesday, Oct. 22 outing between Clay Central-Everly and Graettinger-Terrill/Ruthven-Ayshire. The H-LP Wolves are ranked No. 11 in their class and will play their second round match in Lake Park on Tuesday, Oct. 29.
H-LP senior Noreen Morrow has helped lead her team with 335 kills and 38 aces. Seniors Miranda Brueggeman(44) and Megan Garms (41) each have over 40 aces for the Wolves.
George-Little Rock opens its Region 1 trail in Hawarden on Oct. 22 against West Sioux. Should they win, the Mustangs would face the winner of Trinity Christian and Central Lyon, a week later in Rock Rapids. Central Lyon sits at 21-5 on the year and is ranked fourth in Class 1A. That region’s final is in Nov. 6 at Okoboji, with the winner advancing to state.
Sibley-Ocheyedan is 13-12 with two matches left on the year. The Generals host Sheldon on Tuesday night and go to Rock Valley to close out the regular season on Thursday night. The Generals will begin Class 2A Region 1 play at West Lyon, Inwood on Tuesday, Oct. 22.