Volleyball Team Puts in Weekend Work

Atlantic participated in the Tri-Center tournament on Saturday.


Kennedy Goergen

The Atlantic girls hug it out on the home court. The Trojans’ record is 6-29.

Hana Holtz, Editor

Bright and early Saturday morning, the Trojan volleyball team headed to Neola to take on a slate full of teams. In round-robin play, the Trojans were stacked up against Red Oak, IKM-Manning, Lawton-Bronson, Westwood, and the home team. 

The Red Oak Tigers came into the tournament as one of the Hawkeye 10’s best. They held a record of 17-5, as well as a #9 ranking in class 3A. 

On a four-game winning streak, the Tigers came in redhot over the Trojans in the first set, where Atlantic was limited to claiming just four points. Atlantic’s scrambling defense was outplayed by Red Oak, who nabbed the second set–and the victory–21-10. The loss to the Tigers will help Atlantic prepare for what is instore later on this season, when the two teams clash again in the AHS gym.

Against Red Oak, the Trojans had 19 digs. In their limited service, junior Caroline Pellett claimed the lone ace.

The 15-11 Tri-Center Trojans had shown they could take down bigger schools earlier on in the season. The Western Iowa Conference team had beaten up on four Hawkeye 10 squads in their 2019 campaign, including two victories over Harlan and two victories over Clarinda.

In the cross-conference matchup, the two teams battled back and forth in the first set. Towards the end, serve-receive errors by Atlantic made the gap a bit larger, and Tri-Center took the first period, 21-15. However, Atlantic snagged the second set in dramatic fashion, topping the host school 21-19 after stronger hitting up front. In the deciding frame, Tri-Center outplayed Atlantic, 15-4. 

In the three-set battle, Atlantic put up seven blocks. They also had five aces, with junior Alyssa Derby having three.

Another opponent Atlantic faced was IKM-Manning. The challengers were 5-17 at the beginning of the tourney. However, the small school squad had taken down a Hawkeye 10 team–Denison-Schleswig. 

IKM-Manning remained just a step ahead in the first set, regardless of what offense Atlantic put together. In the second, solid hitting up front for Atlantic put the Trojans in the lead for much of the frame. However, IKM-Manning was able to squeak ahead of the Trojans, and clinched the second set, 24-22. 

In the narrow loss, the Trojans outscored their opponents in the majority of the categories on the stat sheet. They had 23 kills, 19 assists, and 27 digs. The solid showing from Atlantic showed how their updated rotation was improving their play.

A 12-10 Lawton-Bronson team was another competitor at the Tri-Center tournament. Atlantic matched up evenly with the opposition, and both sets were nail-biters. The Trojans narrowly dropped the first set, 21-19, after their strong defense led the way to a close finish. Up a set, Lawton-Bronson used that momentum to claim the straight-set victory, 21-16.

In the match against Lawton-Bronson, the Trojans had 27 digs and five blocks. 

The final challenger for Atlantic was Westwood. The opposition was 5-11. Both teams were hungry to get the victory, as both crews were winless thus far in the tournament. 

Westwood was just a beat ahead of Atlantic, who once again showcased their strong passing game. The opposing team won the first set, 21-17. Atlantic rebounded and snagged the second set in decisive fashion, 21-14. In the winner-takes-all final set, Atlantic prevailed in the close, 15-13 decision. The Trojans were able to get the ball to the floor more often on offense, which led the way to the victory.

Against Westwood, the girls had 44 digs and 21 kills. On defense, every girl who stepped onto the court claimed at least one dig, with junior Mia Trotter leading the way with 16. Derby led the team in kills with ten.

Red Oak would go on to win the tournament, going 5-0 on the day.

The next tournament for Atlantic will be Saturday, Oct. 19 in Winterset.