Bombers fall to Comets in regional quarterfinals: Ballard finishes with 12 victories

Joe Randleman
Tri-County Times
Ballard senior Cecilia Christensen goes up to tip the ball during the Bombers' Class 4A regional quarterfinal volleyball match with North Polk Oct. 20 in Alleman. The Bombers fell in four sets.

ALLEMAN - Ballard didn’t have its best effort in the Class 4A regional quarterfinals at North Polk Oct. 20.

The Bombers saw their season come to a close after getting swept by the Comets - 25-17, 25-23, 25-12. Ballard started sluggish, played well in the second set to give North Polk a scare, but then went flat in the third set to finish the season with a 12-14 record.

“We just could not get ahead of it,” Ballard head coach Morgan Bennett said. “We put up a good fight, the second set especially. The third set we were a little bit gassed - it took the wind out of us after that close loss.”

Ballard had 27 kills on 8.2-percent efficiency compared to North Polk’s 39 kills on 24.2-percent efficiency. The Bombers had had a 19.3-18.7 edge in digs per set and 8-4 advantage in total blocks, but only served at 85-percent compared to North Polk’s 91-percent accuracy.

Though the regional match didn’t turn out the way her team wanted it to, Bennett is happy with how the season went as a whole. The Bombers hit double digits in wins for the second year in a row under Bennett after finishing with just five victories the year before she arrived at Ballard.

Like last year when they ended up 11-20, the Bombers started slow in 2020. They won just one of their first five matches. 

But for the second year in a row they also finished strong, winning seven of their final nine matches in the regular season.

“It takes us a little bit to find a groove,” Bennett said. “But once we find it we definitely run with it. We had a good end run.”

Carley Wilson had 13 digs, 11 kills and one ace and Ava Ashworth 12 digs, eight kills and one block for Ballard against North Polk. Brynna Huen added 15 assists, six digs and three aces; Molly Houge 16 digs and three aces, Kaylee Van Pelt seven digs, six assists and two kills and blocks apiece; Brooklyn Baumgardner four blocks and two kills and Natalie Maher two kills and one block.

Brooklyn Baumgardner goes for a dig during Ballard's 4A regional quarterfinal match with North Polk Oct. 20 in Alleman.

Cecilia Christensen chipped in one kill and block apiece and Hailey Battani and Rylee Askelsen one dig apiece.

Talula Monk and Syndey Anderson both had nine kills for North Polk. Emily Byrd added 18 assists and Hailey Steffen 11 digs for the Comets.