WOODWARD — The Des Moines Christian volleyball team has posted a 32-3 record in the West Central Conference over the past four years, but despite their impressive tally has managed to win the league title just once — in 2013.
The reason? Woodward-Granger.
The Hawks are 34-1 over the same span, wearing undefeated crowns from 2011, 2013 and 2014. Their only loss? To DMC in ’13, a setback that cost the Hawks the moniker of conference champs.
With that history as a background, the arch-rivals met Tuesday in Woodward for a match that, barring the unforeseen, would likely decide the 2015 WCC championship.
Woodward-Granger left no doubt who would control their own destiny this season with a 3-0 sweep of DMC. The Hawks opened with a 25-13 win in game one, then used the momentum to secure a 25-20 win in game two before sealing the match with a 25-19 victory in the third game.
“Bree (Lesch) really got us going with a stretch of points to start the first game,” W-G head coach Meg Jackson said. “She was hitting hard and hitting through openings … she was just very solid for us tonight.”
Lesch finished with 12 kills while serving 23-of-24 with six aces. She joined libero player Kara Bodensteiner in making 24 digs apiece.
The duo has been stout on serve receive and has helped stunt any long runs of points from the opposition.
“Kara is one of those players you just don’t notice, but it is because she doesn’t make errors,” Jackson said. “She has been fantastic for us on serve receive and sometimes I think she gets overlooked because all she does is just go out on the court and do her job. As a coach, you want players like that, because not only are they reliable but their teammates know it, too, and it gives the whole team confidence.”
Mary Hansen had 11 kills for W-G, with Olivia McCune adding six kills and Alyssa Bice four. Bice provided 20 assists and Hansen 16 to go along with 10 digs.
McCune served 13-of-13 with three aces while Bice was 12-14-3 and Hansen 10-12-4 behind the line. Kaycee Major was 8-of-8 serving and had seven digs, with McCune making three blocks while Bice, Hansen and Julie Pitman had one block apiece.
Woodward-Granger (10-3, 2-0) will now travel to the North Scott Tournament for five matches Saturday against much larger schools.
“We look forward to this every year,” Jackson said. “It is a great challenge for us and a great chance to see where we are and what needs to improve.”