It took just two sets for the Nodaway-Holt Trojan volleyball team to put away an on-the-road victory against the West Nodaway Rockets on September 25 at Burlington Jct. Those wins didn’t come easy, though, as West Nodaway fought to the end in both sets.
“We have to get it in our minds that we can compete and that we can win,” West Nodaway Head Coach Selina Talmadge said. “I feel like the girls have come a long way since I’ve taken over and we’ve gotten our first few wins, but we need to be more confident in ourselves.”
The Trojans came out hot in the first set which sparked an 8-0 run before West Nodaway’s coach called a timeout.
A few plays after Talmadge’s pep talk, a kill by Mackenzie Finney got the cogs turning for the Rockets who came alive to close the gap, with help by an ace from Brittany McIntyre and a kill by Lexi Moore. Moore’s nine kills in set one paved the road to a tied game at 14-all before the Trojans buckled down to edge ahead once again.
Up 20-17, a kill by Breanna Day put Nodaway-Holt back on the attack and Shaina Culp finished the set with an ace to give the Trojans a 25-20 win in the first set.
“We’ve just sort of hit a plateau where it’s hard to get the girls up for some matches,” Nodaway-Holt Head Coach Tobie Bohannon said. “We go into some games thinking we’re going to win and others knowing we’re going to lose. We have to break that if we are going to play to our potential. I was pleased tonight with our transitions and our attacking the ball.”
The second set had a much closer start to it, but again, it was Nodaway-Holt who took the early lead. This time they never let it go.
Back-to-back kills by Culp were huge as the Trojans became attack-heavy on the front line which put West Nodaway on the defensive for much of the second set. Culp’s team-high 11 kills came mostly from the second set as the Trojans eventually built a 14-9 lead.
A few climactic moments fell West Nodaway’s way as the Rockets seemed very focused on the back-and-forth plays. Talmadge said she was proud to see how well the team handled themselves in those situations despite being unable to truly practice those situations.
“With so few on the team, it’s hard to get in those real-time experiences so you just have to hope the little things you work on in practice come together for things like that,” she said.
The Rockets still held a close game, but the Trojans put away the necessary plays to come away with a 25-18 win in the second set.
Stat leaders for Nodaway-Holt were Day with a block and five digs, Amanda Bohannon with three aces, Kailey Miller with eight kills, Culp with 11 kills and three aces, and Halle Clement with 19 assists.
For the Rockets, stat leaders were Moore with 14 kills and 16 digs, Brittany McIntyre with four blocks, and Finney with 14 digs.