HUXLEY — The Ballard volleyball team picked up one victory in four matches at the Ballard Invitational Saturday.


The Bombers defeated Montezuma and fell to Woodward-Granger and Johnston in pool play.


In the win over Montezuma Ballard won the first set in a 21-19 thriller and then dropped another exciting battle in set two by a 23-21 score to set up the rally game. In the rally game Ballard prevailed with strong 15-9 victory.


Woodward-Granger swept Ballard by 21-12 and 21-10 scores. Johnston handed the Bombers losses by scores of 21-13 and 21-16.


Ballard came up just short against South Tama in the championship bracket. Ballard won the first set, 21-18, dropped the second by 21-17 score then suffered a heartbreaking 16-14 loss in the rally game.


“We played really well,” Ballard head coach Morgan Bennett said. “There were some good teams here today. We obviously played well against Montezuma, Johnston is 5A and Woodward-Granger really showed up today. I’m a little disappointed with South Tama — I think we should’ve won that one.”


In the match with South Tama the rally game went back-and-forth.


A Maya Baker kill evened the score at 11-11 for Ballard. South Tama went up 14-13, but a Trojan error evened the score back up.


Then South Tama’s Gwen Upah came up with a kill to put the Trojans in front. Gracie Vest followed with another kill to give South Hamilton the win.


“I think a little bit of it was fatigue — it’s been a long day and they’re ready for homecoming tonight,” Bennett said. “It’s a long, hard week. But we’ve just got to get over the hump and finish those close ones.”


Ballard went to 2-9 on the season following the tournament.


Baker stepped into the right-side position and had 13 kills for the tournament. Carley Wilson totaled 17 kills, six digs and three blocks and Ava Ashworth 14 kills and 11 digs.


Natalie Maher came up with six kills and two blocks, Brynna Huen 38 assists, Molly Houge 17 digs, Cecilia Christensen three blocks and one kill, Aviah Taylor four blocks and Kerrigan Boock two digs.


HUXLEY — Ballard earned its first victory of the season Sept. 17 with a decisive sweep of Perry in Raccoon River Conference play.


The Bombers prevailed by scores of 25-17, 25-12 and 25-11 to improve to 1-6 overall and 1-2 in the RRC. They had their best offensive night of the season, racking up 38 kills with only 14 attack errors, and also compiled an impressive 14 aces on a 70 of 75 serving performance.


Ava Ashworth tallied 12 kills, six digs and four aces and Carley Wilson 11 kills, four digs and two aces for Ballard. Aviah Taylor added six kills and one block and Cecilia Christensen five kills, Natalie Maher four kills and three aces.


Brynna Huen handed out 29 assists and picked up five aces at setter for Ballard. Molly Houge finished with 19 digs and Hailey Battani chipped in five digs.