Volleyball: Overwhelmed by the champs
The most successful season in four years was halted by one of the state’s top programs last week.
Second-rated Kuemper Catholic, the Class 3A defending state champion, rolled past Greene County (12-20) in straight sets in the first round of regional play Oct. 23 in Carroll.
The Knights (34-4) won the opening set 25-15 then followed it up with an absolutely dominating second frame, 25-6 before closing out the match with a convincing 25-12 triumph.
Kuemper’s Kara Peter secured a game-high 16 kills to go with two blocks and 12 successful serves. As a team, the Knights secured 46 kills compared to just 15 from Greene County.
The Rams’ Brianna Osterson led the way with five kills while Harleigh Weir and Lilly Muir each secured three kills apiece.
The Rams were spot on from the service line, connecting successfully on 33 of their 34 attempts (97 percent).
Senior Aubrey Heupel secured 13 assists in her final game while she also tallied three blocks. Freshmen Isabella Schroeder led the team with four blocks and four block assists. As a team, the Rams came away with eight total blocks.
The Knights showed why they are one of the best teams in the state, having now won 87 matches in the last two years with just four losses.
KHS would go on to defeat OA-BCIG in straight sets Tuesday, Oct. 29.
The loss ended Greene County’s resurgent season in which they captured their most wins since 2015 when the Rams were 15-21.
The dozen wins were a significant jump from a year ago, when Greene County claimed victory in just seven games.
Greene County finished the year with 548 team kills while Brianna Osterson recorded a team-best 166 kills, which ranked her 11th in the HOIC.
Muir wasn’t far behind in 13th, tallying 146 kills. Heupel was sixth in the league with 389 assists, finishing her career with an impressive 1,230 assists. Heupel and Muir tied for the team lead in aces with 27 while Paige Heaning secured 26 aces.
The senior led the team with 201 digs.
Greene County’s three triumphs in Heart of Iowa Conference play were the most by a Rams squad since they went 6-3 the 2014 season.