Eagles take care of Zuma in 3 sets
KEOTA — Fresh off of a third-place finish at the Washington Tournament over the weekend, the Keota volleyball team had a clean 3-0 sweep of Montezuma, Monday.
The Eagles started strong. Two aces from junior Callie Greiner made it 10-4 before they took their largest lead of the game at 12-4. Greiner finished the night 9-for-9 on serves.
On a night filled with runs and momentum swings, Montezuma sophomore Katie Maschmann had three successful serves during a 4-0 spurt to cut the lead to 12-8.
After Keota took a 22-16 lead, it gave up five points in a row.
“We are kind of used to (allowing runs),” said head coach Dan Stout. “We have big leads on teams and we let them come back. It is a momentum sport. If you lose focus on what you are trying to do, then a decent team is going to make a run. That is what they did.”
Keota finished off the game with a 25-21 win.
“I thought set one was back-and-forth quite a bit,” Stout said. “Both teams were trying to feel each other out.”
Keota got out of the gate in the second set with an 8-1 lead. It took its largest lead of the game at 20-12.
The Eagles took a commanding 2-0 game lead with the game point off a serve from senior Kelsi Sieren that made it 25-13.
Sieren had the best serving night on the team going 14-of-14.
“In set two we really took advantage of things,” Stout said. “We hit the ball real well. We did a much better job of serving in set two. Set three we really struggled. We played pretty well in set two. We passed the ball, and that is when you get hits.”
The third set was the most tightly contested game of the night.
There were eight lead changes and 12 ties.
It was the only game that Montezuma had a lead.
Keota didn’t trail by more than two points.
The final tie of the game was at 21 before Keota closed the game on a 4-1 run.
“Both teams were hitting the ball well,” Stout said. “There were a lot of kids hustling. Their team was real scrappy. They dug up a lot of balls on us.”
Keota answered with 50 digs with a team-best 17 from junior Brooke Sieren and 11 from Greiner.
“We were doing good on digging; they weren’t hitting it overly hard,” B. Sieren said. “We were still pretty good defensively. I don’t know if that is the best we have ever played, but I’m still happy with it.”
The tight game three was indicative of a stronger game from Montezuma, according to B. Sieren.
“I think they were playing a little better in their third set,” B. Sieren said. “That is probably why it was closer.”
K. Sieren had a team-high 11 kills with just one hitting error.
“Kelsi really got things going later in set three,” Stout said. “The defense looked like it slowed down and we got a lot of kills. Kelsi did a good job of adjusting to where she was going to hit it.”
Junior Madison Sheetz was second on the team with 10 kills but had six hitting errors.
“Madison hits it hard, but she needs to tone it down a little bit and get the ball in play,” Stout said.
Keota improved to 7-1 at home with wins in its last six games at home.
“It was a good win for us at home,” Stout said. “We play well at home every time.”
Keota will play its eighth match in a week, Thursday with Stout electing to not make any substitutions and allow players to play through mistakes.
The final game of the season is Thursday. Keota plays Iowa Valley at 7:30 p.m.