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No. 9 Cubs go 4-2 at Waverly

Nevada outside hitter Abby Stephenson goes up high for a kill attempt during the Cubs’ four-set victory over Greene County on senior night Oct. 1 at the Nevada High School Field House. Photo by Joe Randleman
Nevada outside hitter Abby Stephenson goes up high for a kill attempt during the Cubs’ four-set victory over Greene County on senior night Oct. 1 at the Nevada High School Field House. Photo by Joe Randleman
Nevada senior Jessica Helton connects on a dig during the Cubs’ senior night win over Greene County Oct. 1. Photo by Joe Randleman
Nevada senior Jessica Helton connects on a dig during the Cubs’ senior night win over Greene County Oct. 1. Photo by Joe Randleman

WAVERLY – The Nevada volleyball team put together a 3-2 day at the Waverly-Shell Rock Invitational Saturday in Waverly.

The Cubs, ranked No. 9 in Class 3A, picked up two victories over Cedar Rapids Jefferson and they also defeated Gladbrook-Reinbeck and Crestwood. Their two losses were to Grundy Center and Waverly-Shell Rock, as they moved to 21-11 on the season.

Nevada took three sets to down Cedar Rapids Jefferson in the first match between the two teams during pool play. The Cubs suffered a 21-17 loss in the opening set, but came back with a 21-13 victory in the second and then they finished off the J-Hawks in the rally game, 15-10.

Nevada put together a strong attack in the victory. The Cubs tallied 25 kills against just three kill errors and they recorded a kill-efficiency rate of .278.

Megan Pringnitz had eight kills at outside hitter and middle blockers Emma Lodestein and Kati Cassabaum tallied six and five respectively. Abby Stephenson chipped in three kills, Mara Rhodes finish with two and Michaela Matuska added one.

The Cubs produced a strong block as well, totaling 13 in the match. Cassabaum led the way with four, Lodestein and Rhodes each had three, Pringnitz delivered two and Matuska finished with one.

Stephenson was active in the back row with a team-high 12 digs and Matuska did a great job setting up the Cub attack with 18 assists. Jessica Helton added seven digs and Matuska and Megan Anderson recorded five apiece.

Lodestein was the top server for Nevada in the match as she went 19 of 21 with both Cub aces.

The two teams met again in the championship round and this time Nevada pulled off a sweep by scores of 25-13 and 25-17. The Cubs were again excellent offensively with 28 kills against six errors for a .293 kill-efficiency rate and they also finished with six blocks and aces apiece.

Pringnitz was a dominant force at the net in the rematch as she slammed home 14 kills and only had one attack error. She also finished with four digs, one block and one ace.

Lodestein had another quality outing with six kills, two digs, one block and one ace. Cassabaum recorded three kills and two blocks and Rhodes delivered three kills, three digs, one block and one ace.

Stephenson again led the Cubs in digs with 14 and she chipped in two kills and one ace. Matuska handed out 24 assists and totaled two aces and one block, Anderson contributed six digs and Helton finished with four.

Nevada swept both Crestwood and Gladbrook-Reinbeck.

The Cubs pulled off 25-11 and 25-20 victories over Crestwood. Stats from the match were not available at press time.

Nevada rolled past Gladbrook-Reinbeck by scores of 21-9 and 21-11. The Cubs put up an excellent .455 kill-efficiency rate in the win with 19 kills and four errors in 33 attacks.

Nevada also had an impressive nine aces against Gladbrook-Reinbeck.

Cassabaum had eight kills with no errors and Pringnitz wound up with five kills and two errors for Nevada in the win. Cassabaum also had one block and Pringnitz picked up two digs and went 15 of 15 serving with six aces.

Stephenson added three kills and one ace and Lodestein, Matuska and Rhodes totaled one kill apiece. Matuska also recorded 15 assists, three digs and one block.

Nevada put up a good fight against a Waverly-Shell Rock team rated fourth in 4A before losing in three sets. The Cubs were overpowered by a 21-8 score in the opening set, but they came back with a 21-17 victory to force a rally game, where they fell by a 15-8 decision.

The Cubs had 22 kills and 14 errors in 82 attacks for a .098 kill-efficiency rate in the loss. They had four blocks and went 36 of 39 serving with two aces.

Pringnitz and Stephenson both spiked home nine kills in the loss. Pringnitz also had nine digs and one ace and Stephenson finished with six digs.

Cassabaum delivered three kills and one block and Rhodes chimed in with one kill, one block and six digs versus Waverly-Shell Rock. Matuska handed out 18 assists and tacked on six digs and one block, Helton was great in the back row with 16 digs and Lodestein picked up one block.

Grundy Center swept Nevada in two sets. The Spartans, ranked sixth in 2A, edged the Cubs by a 24-22 score in the first set and they won the second by a 21-13 margin.

Nevada ended up with 19 kills against seven errors and the Cubs only had two blocks and one ace in the loss.

Pringnitz had six kills and digs apiece, Stephenson finished with five kills and digs apiece plus one block and Rhoades contributed five kills and one assist against the Spartans. Matuska recorded 16 assists and five digs, Helton stepped up with 10 digs, one kill and one ace, Lodestein added one kill and one dig and Cassabaum finished with one kill, one block and two digs.

NEVADA – Nevada saw one season goal slip its grasp against Greene County Oct. 1, but the Cubs kept a more important one alive by defeating the Rams in four sets on senior night at the Nevada High School Field House.

Nevada was aiming to sweep each of its Heart of Iowa Conference opponents en route to an unblemished conference championship, just as it had a year a go. Greene County ended that dream with a victory in the second set Oct. 1, but the Cubs bounced back two win their final two sets to claim victory and remain atop the HOIC with a perfect 6-0 record.

“I think we were all a little tight because it was senior night,” Nevada outside hitter Megan Pringnitz said. “But it was still fun and I’m glad we won it.”

Pringnitz was one of three seniors honored that night along with libero Jessica Helton and middle blocker Emma Lodestein. Senior night provided a positive lift to start the match for Nevada as the Cubs won the first set by a comfortable 25-12 margin.

It appeared the Cubs were going to hold off the Rams in the second after taking a 23-21 lead. But Greene County tied the score at 24-24 and then the Rams scored the next two points to shock the Cubs by a 26-24 margin.

“They took a set off Roland-Story, so we knew they we’re going to be pretty good,” Pringnitz said. “But we’re kind of upset because we had that no sets dropped goal and we did that last year.”

Pringnitz and her teammates took out their anger on Greene County in the next set, clobbering the Rams by a 25-9 score. Pringnitz finished off the right with a block for the final point.

In the fourth set Greene County regrouped and gave Nevada another good run.

The Cubs took a 16-8 lead behind a good stretch from middle blocker Kati Cassabaum. The sophomore teamed with Michaela Matuska for a double block to give Nevada a 13-8 lead then a Cassabaum kill gave Nevada a 15-8 advantage and she followed that with a block for the final point in the run.

But Greene County began to chip away at Nevada and the Rams eventually knotted the score at 19-19.

Abby Stephenson and Mara Rhodes briefly regained the momentum for Nevada as Stephenson had a kill and Rhodes came up with a block to put the Cubs up by two. But Greene County came back to retie the score at 21-21.

Lodestein then came up with a clutch kill for Nevada and Greene County followed with two errors to give the Cubs a 24-21 lead. The Rams closed the gap to two points, but Pringnitz made sure there would be no rally game and she slammed down a kill with authority to end the set and wrap up a 25-22 Cub victory.

“A win is a win,” Pringnitz said. “We’re glad we came out on top.”

Pringnitz said the competitive victory was a big confidence booster with regional play not too far around the corner. Last season Nevada was upset by Bondurant-Farrar at home in the semifinals, and that is something Pringnitz doesn’t want repeated as the Cubs attempt to reach state for the first time since their first appearance in 2008.

“Getting this before we go into regionals is definitely going to help us,” Pringnitz said. “We changed up our lineup tonight so this gave us really good practice on what we need to fix.”

Pringnitz finished with an impressive 17 kills and only three attack errors on the night. She also came up with 11 digs and one block and went 19 of 21 serving with three aces.

Cassabaum also had a big night at the net as she hammered down 14 kills and added three blocks. Stephenson ended up with nine kills, one block, one ace and a team-high 14 digs and Lodestein contributed four kills, one block and two aces.

Michaela Matuska dished out 39 assists and she also had 10 digs, two blocks and one kill. Erin Francis totaled 12 digs and one assist, Helton finished with nine digs and two aces, Rhodes had two blocks, one kill and one assist and Megan Anderson came through with two digs.

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