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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 17, 2017

Golden Triangle News Service names 2017 small school all-area volleyball team

By Justin Webster | Nov 08, 2017
Photo by: Photo submitted by Christy Gambell Pekin senior Maci Gambell

Day two of our GTNS all-area teams features our small school volleyball players selected from 12 area schools. Our eight selections came from Pekin, Van Buren, IMS and New London, all of which had winning seasons and who combined to go 92-46 in 2017 competition.

 

Coach: Maureen Heath, New London

Coach Heath’s New London squad knocked down some walls this season, winning 35 games and collecting a Southeast Iowa Super Conference tournament championship.

The Tigers’ season may not have ended in Cedar Rapids, but the regular season run and a consistent top 10 ranking is enough to give Coach Heath the head spot on the small school team.

 

Captain: Carson McSorley, Sr., New London

The senior libero for New London has been a huge part of the Tiger back line in the last four years, but this season she took it to all new heights to earn the spot as captain.

McSorley dug out 617 balls to finish second in the entire state in digs for the second straight year.

She also had a breakout year serving the ball, scoring 96 aces to finish second in the entire state in that category as well.

 

Maci Gambell, Sr., Pekin

Gambell isn’t new to the spotlight, as the 5’8 senior stands tall among all-time Pekin athletes. Maci was Co-MVP of the GTNS small school basketball team earlier this year after being named to the Class 2A all-state second team as a junior. She was also selected to our small school all-area volleyball squad in 2016, making this her third selection overall, although she was nearly selected a fourth time when she was a sophomore in basketball. Gambell, a member of the Pekin National Honor Society, was both 1st team All-SEISC in the gym, and all-academic SEISC in the classroom. She led her team to a 22-16 record while playing in all 102 sets for the Panthers. She recorded 31 assists, 350 digs, 11 blocks, 264 kills for 2.59 kills/set and a 95 percent serve efficiency rate with 53 aces.

Haley Gambell, Jr., Pekin

While many assume the Gambells’ are sisters, they are actually cousins, and Haley, a junior, still has one more year to pad her resume once Maci goes off to college. Gambell, a 5’9 standout was selected to both the 1st team all-SEISC volleyball squad and the SEISC all-academic team. Haley played in all 102 sets for Pekin while helping her team advance to the regional semi-finals. She recorded 295 assists, 287 digs and 19 blocks in 2017, plus 227 kills for a 2.23 kills/set ratio and had a serve efficiency rate of 89 percent while placing 40 aces for Pekin.

Salena Sayre, So., Van Buren

Sayre was a major reason the Van Buren volleyball team was so succesfull in 2017, which is why she was named 1st team all-SEISC in her second season for the Warriors. The 6’0 sophomore stud played in all 81 of her teams’ sets, smashing 252 kills, good for 3.11 per set for Van Buren who went 20-11 on the year. Sayre’s serve efficiency was 94 percent while she recorded 26 aces. She also had 151 digs and 63 total blocks. This is Sayre’s first GTNS selection, though probably not her last.

 

Breanna Mettler, Sr., New London

Mettler, who is no stranger to All-GTNS lists, earned her way onto the team this season with 370 kills, which ranked sixth in Class 1A.

Mettler was a player who stepped up when it mattered most. She tallied 27 kills over three games at the SEISC tournament finals and had 22 kills in New London’s regional semifinal against Holy Trinity.

 

Savannah Sutherland, Sr., New London

Every good team needs a reliable setter, and Savannah Sutherland was exactly that for New London, finishing with 758 assists, which was seventh in Class 1A.

Sutherland did a little of everything for the Tigers, finishing the year with 288 digs, 62 kills, 58 aces and 25 blocks.

 

Suzanna Yoder, Jr., Iowa Mennonite

Yoder had a solid junior season helping her Iowa Mennonite team finish with a winning record for the first time since the 2013 season.

Yoder carried a 94 percent serve efficiency with 21 aces and recorded a team high 146 kills. Arguably her biggest contribution however was on the defensive end where she ranked third in the conference with 350 digs.

The All-GTNS team was selected by Andy Krutsinger of the Mt. Pleasant News, Matt Bryant of the Washington Evening Journal and Justin Webster of The Fairfield Ledger.

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