Sports

Warriors win all four

Van Buren County couples two-game sweeps at Cardinal triangular

Van Buren County’s Isabel Manning (right) tips the ball over the block of Cardinal’s Trista benedict (left) during the final game of Cardinal’s triangular on Monday night. (Andy Krutsinger/The Union)
Van Buren County’s Isabel Manning (right) tips the ball over the block of Cardinal’s Trista benedict (left) during the final game of Cardinal’s triangular on Monday night. (Andy Krutsinger/The Union)
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ELDON — Saturday wasn’t fun for the Van Buren County volleyball team. The Warriors went 0-5 against a stacked field at the Keokuk invite, and needed to find their mofo again before the Southeast Iowa Super Conference tournament. On Monday night, VBC found that mojo with back-to-back sweeps at the Cardinal triangular.

The Warriors took two-set victories over both Moravia (25-13, 25-9) and the hosting Comets (25-15, 26-24). Cardinal finished 1-1 on the night with a 25-22, 25-16 win over Moravia.

“They really needed that after Saturday’s tournament,” said VBC head coach Abby Manning. “We just said we need to go in strong, and not let up, and that’s what they did today.”

The Warriors had to wait their turn as Cardinal and Moravia took the stage first. After building a five-point lead, the Comets had to grind it out down the stretch, getting the lead cut down to 23-22 before capitalizing on Moravia errors for the last two points. Cardinal cruised in the second match, thanks in part to a trifecta of aces by Kiya Chapin early on.

“The first game I think we gave up a lot of points just on our own errors,” Cardinal head coach Katie Orwig said. “The second game, we did a better job of coming out and playing steady, and playing more of our game.”

VBC made quick work of Moravia. Chelsea Huff was dominant on the outside, scoring five kills in the last six Warrior points in Game 1, and finding the hot hand again in Game 2. Shea Scott closed the Braves out with an ace in Game 2 to end Moravia’s night.

Then it was time for the game of the night between rivals VBC and Cardinal. Huff had another dominant Game 1 and led her team to a decisive 25-15 win, but Cardinal had them trading punches all set.

“It’s a thing with Van Buren-Cardinal,” Coach Manning said. “We always expect that it’s going to be a good game, regardless of what year it is.”

Cardinal clawed to a late lead, taking a 23-21 advantage at one point to threaten a deciding third set. VBC scored the next three points, but Trista Benedict tied the game at 24-24 with a block that landed just behind the Warrior hitters.

With the game all tied up, it was once again Huff who got the call. She gave the Warriors a 25-24 lead with a kill, and Scott finished yet another set off with a game-winning ace.

VBC’s double-dip moved them up to 5-9 on the year and snapped a seven-game losing streak.

“It’s definitely a confidence booster,” said Huff. “We sat there and played against five different teams (on Saturday) and we lost every single one of them. We came out here like, ‘it’s a new day.’”

The Comets moved to 6-7 on the season with their split. They’ll be in Letts for their SEISC pool play round on Thursday where they will take on Louisa-Muscatine and West Burlington. VBC will be in Fort Madison to take on No. 1 (1A) Holy Trinity Catholic, as well as Lone Tree.