BAXTER – The start of Class 2A regional competition saw the Collins-Maxwell-Baxter volleyball team in prime form as the Raiders had no trouble getting past Colfax-Mingo Oct. 22 in Baxter.
CMB swept the Tigerhawks in three sets during opening round to improve to 12-10.
After an impressive 8-3 stretch from Sept. 24 through Oct. 10, CMB was sluggish in road losses to North Polk and South Hamilton to close out the regular season. But it is clear the Raiders were ready for the start of postseason play as they rolled to 25-15, 25-14 and 25-20 victories over Colfax-Mingo.
"Those last two matches, it was almost like we were just waiting for the tournament to start," CMB head coach Scott Ranck said. "Tonight they were ready to go and we had a great crowd. We just kind of fed off that."
In the first set CMB jumped out to a 13-7 lead and eventually stretched it to 20-11. Colfax-Mingo tried to call a timeout to slow the Raider momentum, but it was to no avail as a Mackenzie Schmitz ace closed out the 10-point victory.
Another strong start helped CMB dominate the second set. An Abbey Appelgate kill and Hannah McWhirter ace on back-to-back plays gave CMB a 17-9 cushion; the Raiders were never threatened after that as an Alex Hlavacek kill finished off the Tigerhawks.
Colfax-Mingo did push CMB a little bit in the third set. But the Raiders still kept the Tigerhawks at arm’s length, taking a 19-12 lead and never allowing Colfax-Mingo to get closer than three points.
CMB finished with 31 kills and only eight errors in 77 attacks for a kill-efficiency rate of .299.
All-conference middle blocker Abbie Haupert led the way for CMB with nine kills. But she had plenty of support.
Sophomore Payge Jurgens stepped up with seven kills, Abbey Appelgate and Katie Ziesman each had five and Alex Hlavacek finished with four.
"We’ve really been working on that," Ranck said. "I don’t think there’s any doubt in anybody’s mind who our go-to person is, but throughout the year, different girls have stepped up each night. I know Alex had three kills early in the match tonight and Payge caught on fire toward the end. That’s just really nice to see."
Haupert had the only block for CMB on defense and she also totaled six digs. Ziesman also had six digs, Jurgens finished with three and Appelgate and Hlavacek both chipped in two.
Bekah Pearson led CMB in digs with 12 from the libero spot. Mackenzie Schmitz totaled nine and she also did a great job distributing the ball at setter, finishing with 27 assists.
McWhirter had a big night serving the ball as she went 16 of 16 with five aces. Schmitz was 12 of 13 with two aces, Ziesman finished 7 of 8 with a pair of aces and Appelgate, Haupert, Hlavacek and Jurgens tacked on one ace apiece.