IOWA FALLS - A strong start didn’t hold up for the Ballard volleyball team versus Iowa Falls-Alden in a four-set loss to the Cadets Aug. 24 in Iowa Falls.

Ballard (0-2) won the opening set by a 25-16 score. But the Bombers suffered a close 25-23 setback in the second set and never regained their groove.

Iowa Falls-Alden won the third set by a 25-18 margin. The Cadets then overpowered Ballard in set four, winning by a 25-12 score to close out the match.

The Bombers only had a kill-efficiency rate of 0.88 after compiling 41 kills against 29 errors in 137 attacks. They did a better job with their block, racking up 11 blocks after finishing with only four in a season-opening loss to Pella.

Ballard only had three aces with an 88-percent serve rate against Iowa Falls-Alden. The Bombers finished with 61 digs in the match.

Olivia Vier hammered down 20 kills and added 19 digs and three blocks in another terrific effort in defeat for Ballard. Ana Vier also came up big, finishing with 15 kills, two digs, one block and one assist.

Cassidy Shepley handed out 35 assists and chipped in four digs and one ace. Mykelann Gray totaled 18 digs, Karlee Ahrenholtz tallied nine and Sarah Stolte finished with two.

Carley Wilson put up six digs, four kills, one block and one ace for Ballard. Cassie Smith delivered five blocks and two kills and Brandelle McGinn tacked on one block and one dig.

Jackie Trimm and Jenny Wibholm each produced seven kills and Gabrielle Damiano and Grace Renaud put up six kills apiece as part of a balanced Iowa Falls-Alden attack. Wibholm and Grace Juhl both had 17 digs for the Cadets.

HUXLEY - Ballard opened the season giving a gritty effort in defeat versus No. 3 (Class 4A) Pella Aug. 22 at Huxley.

The Bombers fell to the Little Dutch in four sets.

Ballard dropped the first two sets by scores of 25-19 and 25-15. After the sluggish showing in the second set, the Bombers regrouped to win the third by a 25-22 margin and they put up a great fight in the fourth before falling by a 25-23 score to drop the match.

Ballard totaled 38 kills and 20 errors in 139 attacks for a .129 kill-efficiency rate. The Bombers had 52 digs, but just four blocks, and they only served at an 85.4-percent rate with four aces.

Outside hitter Olivia Vier was huge for Ballard in a losing effort. Vier slammed home 19 kills and also had seven digs and one block.

Freshman Carley Wilson added eight kills, five digs, one block and one ace in her first varsity match for the Bombers. Ana Vier put up four kills, two blocks, one kill and one ace; Cassie Smith tallied three kills and Brandelle McGinn chipped in two kills, three digs and one ace.

Cassidy Shepley handed out 36 assists and added five digs and one kill, block and ace apiece at setter for Ballard. Mykelann Gray finished with 22 digs, two assists and one kill at the libero spot.

Karlee Ahrenholtz tacked on six digs and Sarah Stolte finished with two for the Bombers.

Emily Holterhaus delivered 21 kills, 14 digs and three aces for Pella. Natalie Clayberg added 17 digs and 11 kills and Kara Wichhart dished out 40 assists.