Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 25, 2018

IMS breaks Arrows with student support

Sep 14, 2018
Photo by: Doug Brenneman The Iowa Mennonite School student section watches Mia Graber rise up for a kill. IMS defeated Wapello, 3-0.

By Doug Brenneman, JOURNAL Sports


KALONA -- Texas A&M football is famous for their 12th man. Iowa Mennonite School volleyball could be famous for its seventh player.

The IMS student section created a raucous atmosphere Thursday when IMS won a Southeast Iowa Superconference North Division match 3-0 over the Wapello Arrows.

“We had a seventh player tonight and that was our student section,” IMS coach Shannon Miller said. “They really brought a lot of energy and added a lot of atmosphere to our games.”

The students were specially loud during the pivotal second set when IMS was challenged, but pulled away behind Mia Graber’s serving.

“Mia really broke it open for us,” Miller said. “We had a number of missed serves, but we had some good service where we went on a string.”

IMS started the night with a big lead in the opening set. Down 2-0, IMS went up 6-2, which prompted a Wapello timeout. It didn’t help. The lead built to 12-3 and 16-4 before the set ended at 25-16.

The second set was tied at every point through 5-5, then at 7, 8, 11, 12 and 13, which is when Graber started serving.

“I usually jump serve, but I was feeling a little bit winded,” she said. “So I decided to stay down and Coach was giving me some spots to serve to and that helped us go on a little rally there.”

Rubye Ney’s kill was the last point of the run. By then, it was 21-13 and the students were frolicking and rollicking.

“It gets us even more energized and pumped up when we hear that,” Graber said. “When they do cheers during our serve, it gets us all excited. Getting a kill or an ace or anything good, I think we have to give a lot of credit to them for helping get our energy up. I think they made a difference for us.”

During a rally at 16-13, Samantha Miller and Ney combined on back-to-blocks.

Wapello called timeout at 20-13, but couldn’t stem the run. Danae McGaffey landed an ace for a 23-14 lead and Miller’s kill got the set to game point. The longest rally of the match ended when Wapello was called for a carry and IMS won the set 25-17.

“I think getting a lead, even if it’s only three points, helps get the momentum going,” Graber said. “It gets the energy up and helps give us a push to the end. When it is just going back-and-forth, it is hard to get something going.”

IMS got something going in the third set behind Samantha Miller’s serving, motivated by a threat from Coach Miller.

“I told Sam if she didn’t get a string, she was going to have to serve underhand,” the coach laughed.

IMS took a 5-0 lead. It was 8-2 after an ace from Suzanna Yoder, prompting a timeout from Wapello. Yoder served another ace after the timeout. A great dig from Miller made it 13-2. A kill by Wapello’s Ann Freshwater finally stopped the run at 16-3.

“Susanna’s serve was really on in the third set,” Coach Miller said. Yoder was 15 of 15 serving in the match with two aces.

“It is kind of fun to get it going like that,” Graber said. Graber was 13 of 14 serving with an ace. Ney was 17 of 18 with four aces.

“We have been working on having fun,” the coach said. “We have had some talks about what makes volleyball fun for a team. One thing we have to do is keep our energy up. At the beginning of that second set, it seemed like we had a bit of an emotional letdown. We realized we are a stronger team than that. I think it was important that we stayed together as a team. Everyone played their roles and each one of them made the contribution we needed.”

Katelyn Lehman connected on a kill for a 20-7 lead.

“We practiced a number of things (Wednesday) and when we executed those, we scored points,” Coach Miller said.

Miller’s defense provided another dig to get to match point and it ended 25-10.

Miller set 19 assists, helping Graber record 12 kills. Miller had nine kills and Ney eight. Yoder had 16 digs.

“Wapello is a young team. I think they just need experience,” Miller said. “Tonight in our gym, our players just wanted it and the crowd really helped. The student section’s creative, enthusiastic and boisterous support made a big difference for my team.”

Wapello is 2-2 in the North and 5-6 overall.

IMS is undefeated in four North matches and 10-6 overall. IMS plays Saturday at the Williamsburg tournament.

Winfield-Mount Union 3, Highland 1

The Huskies dropped a home Southeast Iowa Super Conference match 25-21, 18-25, 25-13, 25-16 to fall to 1-10 overall and 1-4 in the North Division.

“We fought hard in the first two sets, but Winfield came out in the third and minimized their errors, and we didnt,” HHS coach Whitney Howard said.

Alison Stokes led the Huskies with nine kills, two blocks, and 19 digs. Alyssa Brase played a pair of aces. Kylie Wood dealt 11 assists.

The Huskies play next when SEISC Tournament pool play starts Thursday at Highland.

No. 10 Belle Plaine 3, Keota 0

The Eagles lost on the road 25-10, 25-9, 25-3 to the South Iowa Cedar League foe which is ranked in Class 2A. Keota is 2-8, 0-3 in the league. Keota hosts English Valleys Monday.

No. 14 Wilton 3, Mid-Prairie 0

“This was a disappointing match for us.,” Mid-Prairie coach Cindy Miller said of the River Valley Conference road loss, 25-6, 25-8, 25-9. “We had played mentally tough and quite well earlier in the week, so after the first five points when we weren’t playing in sync, I knew this was going to be a rough match. Part of the frustration came because our middle hitter, Tori Boyse, had tweaked her ankle in PE class earlier in the day and just wasn’t 100 percent.  Since Wilton has several top hitters, her presence at the net was missed both attacking and blocking. She tried playing, but just wasn’t the Tori we are accustomed to. Volleyball is as much an emotional game as a game of skills and teamwork.  As a young team, we have definitely taken away a life lesson from this experience and will continue to keep our heads up as we travel to North Cedar next week for another conference match.”

Tayler Murphy had two kills and Cassidy Herschberger had 10 digs.

The Golden Hawks (4-4, 0-4) play at North Cedar Thursday.

WACO 3, Danville 1

The Warriors won the SEISC South match, 25-20, 25-23, 13-25, 25-19, on the road for a 7-4 record, 1-3 South.

Morgan Graber spiked 10 kills while WACO teammate Clara Schmitz had nine. Quinn Scarff’s hustle resulted in 11 digs.

Nadiyah Brown was a force at the defensive side of the net with 12 blocks, five solo. She added three kills and three digs.

WACO plays at North Mahaska Saturday.

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