ELDRIDGE — Bettendorf. Burlington. Clinton. Cedar Rapids Xavier. Davenport West. North Scott. Quincy, Il. And Woodward-Granger.
If something seems a bit out of place in that grouping of eight from Saturday’s North Scott Invitational, it would definitely be W-G. Schools are classified for sports in Iowa by a BEDS number, which is the total number of students in grades 9-10-11 the previous school year. That meant the W-G volleyball team (BEDS 161) competed in a tournament with Quincy, Il (1,795 in grades 9-12 in 2015), Davenport West (1,457), Bettendorf (1,167), Burlington (816), Clinton (807), North Scott (713) and Cedar Rapids Xavier (510), which is exactly how the Hawks like it.
“We go over to the North Scott tournament every year for that reason,” W-G head coach Meg Jackson said in a pre-season interview when asked about playing larger schools. “The girls really like the challenge and it really tests us.”
W-G (13-4) won their pool Saturday, topping Quincy, 2-1, North Scott, 2-0, and Davenport West, 2-0. Clinton knocked the Hawks from the tourney with a 2-0 win. The three other match losses for W-G so far this season have come to Iowa’s biggest school, West Des Moines Valley (2,170), to Dubuque Hempstead (1,234) and to Pella (501), teams ranked fifth and sixth in Class 5A and second in 4A, respectively.
The Hawks defeated the Blue Devils of Quincy with a 21-9 win in their first set, with set two 22-20 loss forcing a third set, which W-G won, 15-11. Wins of 21-13 and 21-15 over North Scott and of 21-19 and 21-18 over Davenport West followed, setting up a match with Clinton, which the River Queens won behind finals of 29-27 and 25-11.
Olivia McCune had 33 combined kills and Mary Hansen 26. Bree Lesch had 14 kills, Alyssa Bice and Julie Pitman seven apiece and Ashley Gales three. McCune and Gales both finished with six blocks, with Pitman making two blocks and Hansen one.
Bice distributed 36 assists and Hansen 34, with Lesch adding nine assists, Pitman three, Kaycee Major two and Gales and Kara Bodensteiner one each.
Lesch led the team with 39 total digs, with Bodensteiner adding 27, Hansen 23, Bice 16 and Major 13, while McCune had four digs and Pitman, Gales, Riley Kirton and Emma Drake one each.
Bodensteiner had six aces on 33-of-36 serving and Lesch three on a 28-of-33 effort. Bice was 30-34-2, Hansen 24-26-2, Kirton 21-23-2 and McCune 19-22-1.
W-G visits Des Moines Christian tonight. The Hawks will play in Saturday’s Ballard Invitational and will return home Sept. 20 against Madrid.