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Iowa prep volleyball: Sheldon ramps up for 3A Regional Final

SHELDON, Iowa — Sheldon volleyball coach Eric Maassen knows that whenever you play in a regional final match you are going to be in for a battle.

The coach will lead his Orabs into the Class 3A Region 1 final tonight in Estherville against Garner-Hayfield/Ventura (26-7).

Sheldon (33-4) enters the tilt coming off a five-set win over Unity Christian. The Cardinals come in off of a five-set triumph of their own over Forest City.

Set scores for Sheldon’s semifinal match were 25-22, 25-27, 23-25, 25-7, 15-13.

“It was a great match. It was two really good teams,” Maassen said of last week. “We made just enough plays to get it done.”

The Orabs were led by senior Marti Vogel’s 31 kills against Unity. Junior Emily Johnson finished with 42 digs and junior Sami Klienwolterink finished with three block assists, 50 set assists, and three aces.

G-H/V has been led this season with 353 kills, 145 digs and 94 total blocks from senior middle hitter Emily Mathews.

Once the Orabs stop Mathews, G-H/V provides plenty of other weapons, fielding a team of five seniors and six juniors.

Like many good coaches will say, Maassen quips Sheldon will have to control what they can control tonight.

“Their middle hitter is really good,” Maassen said. “We’ll have to focus the defense on her and make sure we take care of fundamental things on our end of the floor.”

The winner of tonight’s match advances to Iowa’s state volleyball tournament, hosted by the Iowa Girls Athletic Union at the U.S. Cellular Area in Cedar Rapids Nov. 12-15.

Harris-Lake Park faces Central Lyon Wednesday night in George for the Class 1A Region 1 Final match. The winner of that match goes to state.

“Any time you play in a Regional Final match you know it’s going to be a battle,” Maassen reiterated.

“We’ll make sure that we’re prepared for any situations that could occur tomorrow night.”

Caleb Nelson
Caleb Nelson is the Daily Globe sports writer. He hails from southwest Iowa and served as sports editor at the Audubon County Advocate Journal there for 2 ½ years before moving to Worthington in October 2013. Caleb trys to enjoy life and everybody that he meets. He enjoys music, playing guitar and drums, and is an avid sports fan. 
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