Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – In a little more than a week the WAMAC teams will gather for the opening night of the conference tournament.
With half of the teams in the WAMAC East Division ranked the annual conference tournament should be as competitive as ever.
“It should be incredible,” Solon coach Sarah Ferin said. “It’s stacked. That’s going to be rough but it’s going to be fun.”
In a span three days this week Solon got a sneak peek at two of the East Division’s best.
Two days after being swept at Class 2A second-ranked Dyersville Beckman 3A fourth-ranked Solon dropped a 25-20, 25-21, 25-19 decision to 4A No. 9 West Delaware on Thursday in Solon.
Solon dropped to 13-7 on the season and 2-2 in WAMAC East Division play with the loss while West Delaware improved to 23-7 and 4-0 in conference contests.
“I think two big games in one week was draining,” Ferin said. “We are trying to play our game but still go at their speed and that kind of got us frazzled.”
Solon had opportunities in all three sets on Thursday but couldn’t close out a win.
The Spartans led 6-2 early in the opener and took a 19-18 lead on an Abby Smith kill.
West Delaware closed the opening set with a 7-1 run that gave the Hawks momentum they would never give up.
The Hawks never trailed in the second set but couldn’t shake Solon until late.
The Spartans cut the lead to 22-21 on a kill by Smith but again West Delaware closed the set with a run.
This time it was a 3-0 spurt to end the second set that gave the Hawks a commanding lead.
Solon led 15-11 in the third set but West Delaware took control with a 10-1 run that featured kills from four different players.
JoAnna Voss led a balanced West Delaware attack with 10 kills while Claire Demmer added eight and setter Macey Kleitsch had four kills.
“Their middles are hard to defend and with their outsides and right sides they have five good hitters,” Ferin said. “Then their setter can still put a kill down.”
Senior setter Rachael Nelson led Solon with nine kills as the Spartans finished with 24 kills, just five fewer than West Delaware.
Kate Benzing, Lauren Schrock, Smith and Katie Yi all had three kills for Solon and Taylor Noonan had two for the Spartans.
“We started to spread it out a little bit more, we still don’t get our middles on the game as much as we should but we are working on that,” Ferin said. “I thought our serving was better.”
Benzing and Schrock each had two ace blocks for Solon which returns to action on Saturday in the Waverly-Shell Rock tournament.
“We are getting better with our block touches,” Ferin said. “We knew that our outsides coming into this week didn’t have a lot of touches on the ball and so now we got some more of those.’
Kennedy Bombei 1-1-0, Kate Benzing 3-0-2, Rachael Nelson 9-1-0, Hannah Kramer 0-1-0, Lauren Schrock 3-0-2, Abby Smith 3-0-0, Taylor Noonan 2-0-0, Katie Yi 3-0-0, Team 24-3-4
Assists – Rachael Nelson 10, Kennedy Bombei 8
Claire Demmer 8-0-3, Macey Kleitsch 4-1-0, JoAnna Voss 10-0-0, Kinley Kolbet 3-0-1, Ally Martin 0-1-0, Ava Hauser 3-0-1, Allison Collier 1-1-0, Team 29-3-5.
Assists – Macey Kleitsch 17, JoAnna Voss 2.
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