Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 17, 2018

Van Buren wins Cardinal’s tournament

By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | Aug 29, 2017
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger/GTNS photo Van Buren’s Madison Bartholomew sets to serve in recent action. In Cardinal’s tournament Saturday, Bartholomew went 35-35 serving on the day with 11 aces.

ELDON – Cardinal hosted a volleyball tournament for the first time in many years Saturday.

Van Buren won the five-team tournament going away, besting their opponents in every set save one. Cardinal had a fair day as well, going 2-2, with wins over Twin Cedars and Moulton-Udell.

Van Buren cruised to easy 2-0 wins over Twin Cedars, Moulton-Udell and Cardinal. The Warriors only blemish of the day came against Seymour. After winning the first set, 21-12, the Warriors lost the second, 21-9. However, the disappointment didn’t last long as Van Buren defeated Seymour in the third game, 15-4.

Van Buren overwhelmed Moulton-Udell with game scores of 21-4, 21-4. Twin Cedars faired little better, falling 21-12 and 21-5. Cardinal put up a stronger fight but still suffered losses of 21-11 and 21-12.

Cardinal was similarly dominant over Moulton-Udell, winning 21-3 and 21-13. The Comets beat Twin Cedars by game scores of 21-15, 21-15. Seymour got the better of the Comets, winning 21-16 and 21-13.


Van Buren stats

Logan Schmitt was one of several powerful servers Van Buren put on the court. Schmitt went 43-45 with 15 aces, and led the team in assists with 33. Selena Sayre led the team with 20 kills, and was 30-31 serving with 11 aces.

Isabell Manning had 42 digs on the day to go with a 24-24 service performance and four aces. Maddie Bartholomew was 35-35 serving with 11 aces. Taryn Scheuermann had 10 blocks.


Cardinal stats

In Cardinal’s match against Moulton-Udell, Maddy Langford put on a show, going 21-22 at the service line with nine aces. She also added eight assists. Langford had nine assists against Twin Cedars.

Against Moulton-Udell, Rachel Lewman led the team in digs with five. Maddie Cloke was the team’s most fearsome front-court player as she smashed seven kills.

Meghan Fitzsimmons, Madison Guiter and Peyton Van Blaricom all had two kills in the match against M-U. Ashlee Strong went 10-10 in serves, including three aces. Strong, Lydia Moses and Kiya Chapin all had two digs.


Ace Van Buren

The secret to the Warriors’ success was hardly a secret Saturday. It was a service game unlike any the competition had seen before. Head coach Matt Zeitler calculated that 35 percent of his team’s points came on service aces.

Van Buren’s easy wins over Twin Cedars and Moulton-Udell led Zeitler to realize his girls needed stronger opponents to play against before their date with a couple of ranked teams. On Thursday, the Warriors host No. 2-ranked in 1A Holy Trinity Catholic. The following Tuesday, Van Buren travels to No. 7-ranked in 1A New London.

“I don’t think we’ve won a set against either team in our lives,” Zeitler said. “But there’s a different atmosphere here around volleyball. We can handle balls and we can serve.”

Zeitler said the match against Seymour was a good test of how the girls would respond when they got down. The Warriors lost that second game but rebounded to win the third easily. Zeitler said the girls team will need to draw on that comeback if they get down to these ranked teams.


Earning respect

Van Buren has not been known as a volleyball powerhouse. Zeitler said the team doesn’t command respect from its opponents. At Saturday’s tournament, Van Buren’s team captain overheard an opponent referring to their match against the Warriors as a warmup. Zeitler said he laughed when he heard that.

“It gave me a little more exuberance in coaching,” he said. “To earn respect, we’ve got to win games that we aren’t supposed to win. Last year, these kids beat bad teams but struggled with mediocre teams. Right now, we’re winning games we never used to win. Until we can play with teams like Holy Trinity and New London, we won’t get a lot of respect.”

To achieve that goal, Zeitler is doing something he has never done before: scout a volleyball opponent. He will attend Holy Trinity’s matchup with West Burlington tonight to prepare for Thursday’s match. He said he travels to scout opponents in girls’ basketball all the time, but this will be the first for volleyball.

Cardinal has the rest of this week to practice for another Saturday tournament, this one almost three hours away in Coon Rapids, near Carroll. The Comets are scheduled to play the host school Coon Rapids-Bayard, CAM-Anita and Ankeny Christian Academy.

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