On the night it unveiled its new gym in front of a near packed crowd, the Glenwood volleyball team rode that wave of excitement to a game one win but couldn't sustain the momentum in a marathon 25-19, 22-25, 21-25, 25-21, 6-15 loss to Harlan last Tuesday night.
“We were definitely up and ready,” said Glenwood coach Kara Huisman. “We served tremendously well. We served 97 percent which is just incredible. We played well defensively but our attacking just was’t what it usually is and truth be told, that was probably the difference between us and them. We just didn't attack as well as we should have.”
The Rams came out pumped up and firing in game one. After trailing 11-10 in the first game, the Rams exploded for 12 of the next 14 points to go up 22-13. But the Cyclones would battle back to cut the lead to 23-19 when Lexi Fisher came to the service line. After a Cyclone hitting error gave Glenwood game-point at 24-19, Fisher whipped an ace to win the first game ,25-19.
Glenwood continued that momentum into game two, going up 14-8 when Cyclone coach Julie DuVall called a time out. The Cyclones responded, scored the next seven points and eight of the next 10, thanks to five kills by Jacie White, to rally and win game two 25-22.
The Cyclones would control throughout in game three, leading by as many as eight points in a 25-21 win.
Huisman said the sharp offense the Cyclones employed was lacking in her team. Harlan had 47 kills to the Rams 23 but overall it was the Cyclones’ aggressiveness on the net that led them.
“They were absolutely more aggressive than us,” she said. “We did not hit well. We just didn't produce offensively the way we normally do. When you look at the stats, that was the difference.”
Huisman's bunch rallied in the fourth game from down 6-0 to lead by as many six in a 25-21 game four win.
In the fifth and deciding match, Harlan came out firing, scoring the first five points and leading 12-3 before Glenwood could muster much of an offense. Harlan went on to win the match with the 15-6 game-five win.
Huisman thought some of her team just ran out of gas in the fifth game.
“Once we got a little tired, we struggled,” she said. “We need to mentally learn how to get past fatigue.”
Morgan Lucy and Katie Larsen led the Rams with seven kills each. Fisher was perfect, serving 9-of-9 with two aces, and Ana VanScoy added 17 digs and served 12-of-12. On the night Glenwood was 83-of-85 serving.
Over 1,000 fans attended the match to see the official unveiling of Glenwood's new gymnasium, scoreboards and state-of-the art video board which featured a one minute video intro for the match. Glenwood is the only high school in southwest Iowa and one of just three in
the entire state with a videoboard.
“The atmosphere to play in was increduble, I had goosebumps all night long,” Huisman said. “It was exactly the kind of game you want: it was five games against a very good team. We just came out on the bad end of it. It was huge. It was good for the crowd to see what we're capable of doing, I just wish would have hit it in all facets of the game because I think the outcome would have been different.”
So what does the former Ram setter and first-year head coach think of Glenwood's new facilities?
“I really can't overstate how top notch and classy our facilities are,” said Huisman. “I am proud to stand and coach a team in that gym. i'm proud to say this is where I coach, I'm proud to say come and play here.”