Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
TIFFIN – At times last season Shauntina Williams was left to carry much of the offensive load for Clear Creek Amana.
A couple of young Clippers continued to show on Tuesday they are more than capable of lightening that load this season.
Williams had a team-high 10 kills but got plenty of help from underclassmen Hailey Pollock and Calia Clubb as Class 4A No. 13 Clear Creek Amana rolled to a 25-14, 25-16, 25-13 win over Benton Community (5-4) in a WAMAC West Division matchup in Tiffin.
“It makes me feel good knowing that we have underclassmen that can now terminate because we didn’t have that all the time last season,” Williams said. “This year we have people at every spot that can terminate.”
Williams has proven capable of carrying the Clippers in the past.
Last season the 5-foot-10 Williams had a team-high 353 kills but only one other player, Pollock, had more than 100 kills.
This season Williams has had a lot more offensive help and that trend continued on Tuesday.
Clubb had nine kills and Pollock added six, all in the final two sets as the Clippers improved to 6-3 on the season and moved to 2-0 in WAMAC West play.
“It’s been nice for our setters and our defenders to have other hitters to go to,” Clear Creek Amana coach Jackie Clubb said. “Tina doesn’t have to carry the weight all on her own and it’s been really nice for everybody. It’s been fairly evenly spread out.”
Clear Creek Amana was dominant from the outset trailing only once all match at 2-0 in the opening set.
The Clippers flashed their newfound offensive balance early building a 21-12 lead before Williams recorded her first kill of the match.
“It takes some pressure off me for sure,” Williams said. “Last year I felt pressure to get a kill every time and this year I know that other people are going to get kills and that makes me feel like all the stress is off me.”
Clubb had three kills in the opening set and senior libero Jordan Neely had a kill and an ace serve during a 6-1 CCA spurt that turned a 6-5 lead into a 12-6 cushion.
Williams scored three of the final four CCA points with a pair of kills and an ace serve but the Clippers already had the opening set well in hand before their offensive leader got rolling.
“It’s important to get everyone going, we need more outlets because we can’t always go to Shauntina,” junior setter Cheyaenne Bunch said. “Having those other people terminate was really good.”
Clear Creek Amana wasted no time getting Pollock and Williams going early in the second set.
The duo combined for eight kills as Clear Creek Amana rolled to a 25-16 win.
Williams had half of her 10 kills in the second set as the Clippers seized control of the match.
“I was like ‘please set me’, I wanted to get going in that second set,” Williams said with a laugh. “We’ve been trying to get the middles working so the blockers will set up on the middles and we can work to the outside.”
Everyone got into the act in the third set as Clear Creek Amana secured the sweep.
Williams and Pollock led six Clippers with a third-set kill with three each.
“That is part of our offense is to make sure our middles are an option,” Clubb said. “If that is the case that will free up our pin hitters. That’s our whole game plan to make sure our middles are always an option.”
Since opening the season with back-to-back losses Clear Creek Amana has won six of its last seven matches while dropping just four sets along the way.
“The first couple of games were a little rocky but we were still kind of learning to play with each other,” Neely said. “We have improved so much just from Thursday against South Tama to today. We just keep getting better.”
Cheyaenne Bunch 1-3-0, Jordan Neely 2-2-0, Amelia Pereira 2-0-1, Shauntina Williams 10-3-1, Hailey Pollock 6-0-1, Madison George 4-0-0, Calia Clubb 9-0-1, Team 34-8-4.
Assists – Cheyaenne Bunch 21, Alexi Kimm 1
Abby Brunssen 8-0-0, Angie Gorkow 5-0-0, Grace Embretson 2-2-0, Kayla Lambe 7-0-0, Toffany Schnor 0-2-0, Team 22-2-2.
Assists – Grace Embretson 16, Mallory Thys 1.