Volleyball: GCHS swept by 10th-ranked Humboldt in regional semis
By BRANDON HURLEY
The upset-minded Greene County Rams could never quite find their mojo last week.
The Cinderella hopes of the Jefferson-based volleyball team were dashed in a straight set sweep by 10th-ranked Humboldt in the Class 3A, Region 2 semifinals Oct. 21.
The Rams entered the postseason matchup riding high off a dramatic opening round victory. Unfortunately, the veteran-laced squad ran into one of the most potent offenses in Iowa.
Humboldt moved on to the regional championship with a relatively drama-free night, securing opening set wins of 25-17 and 25-11 punctuated by a match-clinching third set victory, 25-9.
The Wildcats entered last Wednesday’s postseason match in the top five in Class 3A in total kills, and certainly lived up to the hype. Humboldt secured 38 kills throughout the three sets, out-maneuvering Greene County’s advantageous defense.
The Rams struggled to initiate any type of successful offense, scoring just 20 combined points in the final two sets, tallying only 17 kills throughout the entirety of the match.
Humboldt improved to 32-3 with the victory, later securing a state tournament birth with a 3-2 triumph over MOC-Floyd Valley this past Tuesday.
Humboldt’s state tournament talent was on full display against Greene County, boasting a 12.7 kills per set average while blocking 15 of the Rams shots.
Greene County was led by Brianna Osterson in her final game, securing eight kills to go with seven digs. Both Lily Muir and Brianna Habben tallied three kills apiece. Sophomore Katrina Heupel tallied a team-best eight digs while she also secured a team-high 15 assists.
The Rams finished the year with a 8-19 record, highlighted by a first round regional win over Southeast Valley.
SENIOR DUO HONORED BY HOIC
Greene County seniors Brianna Osterson and Lilly Muir, the Rams’ most consistent duo, were recently rewarded for their fall heroics. Osterson was selected as a member of the Heart of Iowa Conference first team while Muir was tabbed with a second team honor.
Osterson led the conference with 245 kills (24th-most in 3A), a hair in front of Nevada’s Sydney Mosinski, who tallied 242 kills. Osterson secured Greene County’s second-most digs this fall with 126, which ranked her 18th in the conference. She also was fourth with 38 aces and 15th in the HOIC with 25 total blocks.
Muir’s 140 total kills were the seventh-most in the league while she was 15th with 144 digs. The senior secured 26 aces, good for 14th in the HOIC in addition to 15 blocks (25th).
As a team, Greene County was third in the league with 586 kills while Nevada took home the No. 1 spot with 868 kills. The Rams were fourth in total blocks (105), fourth in aces (157) and sixth in digs (716).
Roland-Story secured the outright HOIC title with a 6-0 record, edging runner-up Nevada (5-1). Despite their impressive statistics, Greene County finished fifth in league play with a a 2-4 record, their only wins against the bottom tier of the conference, South Hamilton (1-5) and Saydel (0-6).