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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 25, 2018

Van Buren volleyball ranked, ready to take SEISC lead

By Justin Webster | Sep 13, 2018
Photo by: JUSTIN WEBSTER/Ledger photo No. 4 Chloe Davidson, No. 10 Madison Bartholomew and No. 22 Lexi Jirak walk off the floor for a timeout Tuesday at Keosauqua. The trio are all part of the Class of 2020.

Van Buren’s No. 13 ranked volleyball team in Class 2A should be happier with themselves after defeating Danville 3-0 Tuesday night in Keosauqua to improve to 12-1.

“Being ranked is a new deal for us,” said head coach Matt Zeitler who told his kids, “You’re 12-1 and tied for the conference lead, you gotta be happier!? We’ve never been 12-1 in our lives, but they are little perfectionists.”

Game one

The Warriors won 25-19, but gave up several points at the end while trying to close out the Bears.

“We scored too many points for them,” said Zeitler. “They were just unforced errors.”

Game two

This time, Van Buren only committed eight errors en route to an easy 25-13 victory in the second set, giving them a commanding 2-0 lead in front of a raucous crowd dress in “American themed” attire.

Game three

This one took everything the team had after overcoming deficits of 5-0, 9-5 and 24-23 to win 26-24.

“That was my bad,” suggested Zeitler.

“I took Isabell [Manning] out of the libero spot because she’s been hitting so well in junior varsity, but when I mix them up, everything goes haywire because they don’t adapt well. Long story short, I’m not doing that again.”

Junior Taryn Scheuermann added, “Sometimes it lets us know that we have the determination and grit to come back, but we like to come out on top.” She also thinks volleyball helps her talk more during basketball season and she’s excited the team not only started better than last year, but she believes they are a stronger team that’s getting even stronger.

The girl in the middle of the mixup shared her perspective, “We felt really good for the first two sets and then they switched me to the front row and we had to work it out.”

Manning is also excited about the team’s fast start, something she attributes to a strong finish last season.

“Last year we ended on a good note and we’ve been using that to start fast this year,” said the junior.

Analysa Noll broke down what she saw from the back row, “Off the block we weren’t covering as well on tips and usually we have hitters pounding down on us, but they figured out where our holes were.”

Noll is enjoying her senior year and says it’s nice to see the school support each other, especially during homecoming week.

Next year, Noll will go to Indian Hills to complete her RN degree, something she was inspired to do by her mom who works in healthcare.

Stats

Salena Sayre led the team with 16 kills, nearly half of the team’s total.

“My power comes from working on my goal to just be a better hitter, but there is a lot of aggression behind it, too,” admitted the junior smasher.

Fellow junior, setter Logan Schmidt was 11-11 serving and led the Warriors with 20 assists.

“Holy Trinity is going to be hard to beat, but we are focused and ready to play. We are home this weekend and we play Cardinal again, so if we beat HTC than we know we can play with anyone at that level, and if we lose we know that they are a good team and well just go back to the basics.

Manning was tops with 19 digs, while Madison Bartholomew was second with a dozen.

“It’s important to do well this year and not have the pressure of being seniors,” added Manning who continued. “It’s an honor to wear the Warrior badge and I’m proud to be a warrior.”

The sisters Davidson combined for eight kills, 16 digs and went 11-15 serving with an ace each.

“I think playing Van Buren sports is fun this time of year because so many people support us,” said Grace.

“We butt-heads a lot because we think the same thing,” admitted twin Chloe before adding, “We’re having fun in general.”

Tonight

The Warriors host Holy Trinity Catholic for the Southeast Iowa Super Conference lead with the first set scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

“Our student section is good and helps build us up,” said sophomore Ella Jirak.

“If we win, we are in the drivers seat and if we lose someone else would have to beat them and we’d likely end up the No. 2 seed,” explained Coach Z.

“We have never beat them so we want to win, point blank. One year it was 24-0 and they argued a bad call to make it 25-0. I won’t forget that.”

As for the home crowd, Zeitler sees people who are there solely to support the community.

“We always have support, it’s just the way it is. We have people in the stands that have nothing to do with these players and we appreciate that. I think these kids are going to battle through everything and I’m pretty confident in them. They will be ready to play Thursday night, I guarantee they’ll be ready.”

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