The Eight-Year Streak Comes to an End

Atlantic volleyball posts their first win against a conference team in eight years.

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The Eight-Year Streak Comes to an End

The volleyball girls come together for a pregame huddle. The girls had 67 kills between the two matches on Tuesday night.

The volleyball girls come together for a pregame huddle. The girls had 67 kills between the two matches on Tuesday night.

Makynzie Steffens

The volleyball girls come together for a pregame huddle. The girls had 67 kills between the two matches on Tuesday night.

Makynzie Steffens

Makynzie Steffens

The volleyball girls come together for a pregame huddle. The girls had 67 kills between the two matches on Tuesday night.

Hana Holtz, Editor

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The Trojan volleyball team was still searching for that precious, curse-breaking conference victory when they took on Creston and Lewis Central on Tuesday. On the home court, Atlantic played Creston first.

Creston came to town with a record of 8-11. They had been victorious against a few conference opponents thus far in Shenandoah and Harlan. However, the Panthers were coming off a quick and clean loss to Hawkeye-10 titan Red Oak. “We knew this could be the one,” junior Caroline Pellett said about the possibility of taking down Creston in order to win the first conference game since Sept. 1, 2011. The last conference challenger Atlantic had beaten was Creston in straight sets. Atlantic nearly topped Clarinda a week prior in a heartbreaking, five-set loss. 

The Trojans started slow in the first set, scoring only 11 points. However, the girls stepped it up in the second, where they hung on behind the Panthers. Atlantic couldn’t make up the few-point deficet and dropped the second set, 25-21. 

We switched our mindset and started believing we could win the game.”

— Caroline Pellett

The tides changed inbetween the second and third sets. “We switched our mindset and started believing we could win the game,” Pellett said. According to junior Mia Trotter, the flipped mentality was credited to a play by junior Alyssa Derby, who put up a block that resulted in a Creston player getting hit in the head by the volleyball. “She didn’t get up for about two minutes,” Trotter said. “We were kind of down on ourselves and it made us laugh.”

Stronger spikes resulted in an Atlantic third-set victory. The Trojans slammed the Panthers in the third, 25-16. However, the two teams were neck and neck in the fourth. With Atlantic fighting to stay in the match, spot-on serving by the Trojan crew led the way to a narrow, 25-23 victory. In the deciding set, the two squads hung close, but Atlantic was one step ahead of the competition. The Trojans sealed the deal on a soft tip by Derby, which fell right past the hands of the Panther blockers. 

“We all were super excited and proud,” Pellett said. “I know that for me, I couldn’t stop smiling. I was crying and smiling and it didn’t make sense.”

In the come-from-behind win, Atlantic had 44 kills, 82 digs, and seven aces. Every girl that got onto the court had at least one dig. Trotter led the team with 29. Though Atlantic had claimed a monstrous dub, they still had to play Lewis Central. “We couldn’t celebrate too long because we still had to play LC,” Pellett said. 

The 19-4 Lewis Central Titans were ranked #6 in class 4A. Thrilled with the Creston win, the Trojans took the court. The team hung with Lewis Central in all three sets, but were outplayed by one of Hawkeye 10’s best. 

Atlantic had 23 kills and 38 digs against the Titans. Senior Kenzie Waters led her team in kills with nine, and Trotter was the leader in digs with 13. 

The volleyball girls accomplished their goal of snapping the conference losing streak, and they have other teams they are looking to upset this season. According to Pellett, Denison-Schleswig and Shenandoah are both beatable squads. The Trojans play the Monarchs on Tuesday, Oct. 8, and the Fillies on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

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