Analysis of the Ballard volleyball team spliting RRC matches with Carlisle and Bondurant-Farrar

Joe Randleman
Ames Tribune
Ava Ashworth

The Ballard volleyball team picked up its first Raccoon River Conference victory Sept. 9 by defeating Carlisle in four sets at Huxley. The Bombers gave a Bondurant-Farrar team ranked third in Class 4A all it could handle Sept. 7 before falling in five sets at Bondurant. Here is what we learned from those two matches:

Bombers show they can hang with anyone

Ballard gained a lot of confidence after its match with Bondurant-Farrar. The Bombers were down 2-0 after losing the first two sets, 25-15 and 25-19. But then they came out of nowhere and posted a pair of 25-22 victories to suddenly force a rally game. The Bombers dropped the rally game by a 15-8 score, but they put a huge scare in the Bluejays and let the rest of the conference know they are a force to be reckoned with in the process.

Ballard capitalizes on momentum

The near-upset against Bondurant-Farrar was a huge boost for Ballard. But the Bombers needed to respond by getting in the win column. They did just that against Carlisle. They rebounded from a 25-20 loss in the opening set to dominate the next two, 25-15 and 25-18, then win a 26-24 thriller in the fourth set. The victory put Ballard at 2-3 overall and 1-2 in the RRC.

Ashworth, Askelsen deliver

Riley Askelsen

Senior outside hitter Ava Ashworth stepped up when her team needed her the most to lead Ballard to its strong showing last week. She averaged 17 kills and 9.5 digs over the two matches. Setter Riley Askelsen also played at a high level. Askelsen finished with 48 assists, 20 digs and five aces. 

Baumgardner is a force defensively at the net

Sophomore middle blocker Brooklyn Baumgardner had 13 blocks over the two matches. She came up huge in the Bondurant-Farrar match with nine blocks.

Scherder, Inglett provide balance

With opposing teams focusing on Ashworth and worrying about Baumgardner's defensive presence Rylee Scherder and Memphis Inglett have come on at both sides of the net. Scherder had 15 digs and 11 kills against the Bluejays and Wildcats and Inglett chipped in 11 kills and seven blocks.