Raiders suffer painful loss to R-S

Joe Randleman, Sports Writer
Brianda Bane

STORY CITY - Good preparation and high energy weren’t enough to get the Collins-Maxwell-Baxter volleyball team past Roland-Story in its Heart of Iowa Conference opener Sept. 1 at Story City.

The Raiders executed to perfection in the first two sets and appeared on the verge of sweeping the Norse. But they lost their edge in a third-set loss, went flat in the fourth set and never recovered, in a heartbreaking five-set loss.

CMB overwhelmed Roland-Story by a 25-15 score in the first set. The Raiders were even more impressive in the second, winning by a 25-14 margin.

In the third set Brianda Bane — CMB’s talented middle hitter that is coming off an ACL injury suffered last season — went down. She came back to play, but wasn’t her usual dominant self and that took the wind out of CMB’s sails.

The Raiders led 17-15 during the third set, but Roland-Story pulled even at 22-22, then scored the final three points to hand CMB a 25-22 setback. That loss deflated CMB as Roland-Story dominated the fourth set by a 25-13 score to force a rally game.

In the rally game CMB rallied from a 7-4 deficit to take a 9-7 lead behind the serving of Gracie Cheville. The Raiders eventually took a 13-9 lead behind a strong stretch of play by Kathleen Baldwin.

But for the second year in a row, CMB let one slip away versus the Norse. Roland-Story rallied for a 14-13 lead and after CMB tied the score, the Norse scored the next two points to with the match with a 16-14 triumph.

“This was one of our focus matches of the year,” CMB head volleyball coach Scott Ranck said. “We knew going in this was going to be pivotal for us to reach some of our goals. Last year, we were up 2-0 to R-S as well, and just a few point away from winning it, but lost in five sets. We talked about that game a lot — finishing, staying aggressive, playing not to lose, etc. We didn’t like that feeling and were determined not to let it happen again, but unfortunately it did tonight — just three points away from a sweep in the third set, and two points away from a five-set victory. It was like deja vu. It is very disappointing, it hurts, and it is a setback that we need to recover from to reach some of our goals in the tough HOIC conference.”

Inconsistent serving hurt CMB in the loss. The Raiders had 13 aces, but they only served at an 85-percent clip (84 of 99).

The Raiders picked up 34 kills and 21 errors in 103 attacks for a .126 kill-efficiency rate. They ended up with nine blocks as a team.

Bane finished up with 13 kills, seven aces and two blocks, despite her injury. Bekah Pearson had seven kills and six digs; Jordynn Wesselink recorded 12 digs, six kills and three aces and Sydney Ziesman had four kills and three blocks for CMB.

Baldwin finished with 22 assists, eight digs, three kills, one block and one ace and Cheville had five digs, one kill and one ace. Sailor Hinegardner ended up with 12 digs, one assist and one ace; Katie Camp had seven digs and four assists; Mary Schabilion registered two blocks and one dig and Amber Weltha tacked on one block.