The Waukee Warriors took on No. 8 Urbandale J-Hawks Tuesday, Sept. 5. The Warriors and J-Hawks played all five sets, but the Warriors came out with the 3-2 victory.
“I just think it’s a big deal for us to be beating ranked teams coming from a couple years ago,” said coach Molly Turk. “I think we went three years in a row where we didn’t win a conference game and then last year we maybe had three conference wins, so for this year to be beating Valley on Saturday, who got third at state last year, and Urbandale who is ranked eighth, it’s just a huge deal because it’s kind of uncharted territory for these girls.”
In the first set, the J-Hawks started out with the first point, but with a kill hit by Haley Bush, the set immediately tied up.
Unfortunately, the set didn’t stay tied for long and the Warriors fell 7-4, but it didn’t take long for them to come back.
With another kill by Taylor Carey, the Warriors led 9-8. The Warriors got the next point as well on the following volley when Carey blocked a J-Hawk hit.
Soon, the Warriors fell behind again, but the set stayed close. The Warriors were behind 21-19, but were coming back.
It looked as though the Warriors could win the set when they led 23-22, but the volleys became longer and the scored began to tie up.
After Bush’s final hit and block went out of bounds, the Warriors lost the first set 26-24.
The J-Hawks got the first point again in the second set after Waukee was called on a double hit, but again, the set tied up with a hit by Megan Severson. The set continued to go back and forth staying tied.
Soon enough, the score was 12-9 with Waukee leading, after Kate Nelson had a kill. The Warriors continued to lead and soon the score was 24-14.
The set ended when Bush slammed the ball down on the J-Hawks’ side of the net. The set ended 25-14 and the match was tied 1-1.
Bush led the Warriors in kills. She had a total of 22 kills, six errors and 55 attack attempts for an efficiency of 0.291.
“Haley’s great, I think she plays a really nice all around game,” Turk said. “I think our other outside hitter, Megan Severson, she’s kind of a quiet silent leader, plays great all the way around as well. Honestly it was pretty balanced effort tonight, I think, my setter made some really good decisions at the end and my back court, the communication was good. It was definitely a team effort tonight.”
In the third set, the Warriors had the first point when the J-Hawks had a missed kill. Unfortunately for the Warriors, the set tied up when Brooke Dannenfeldt successfully spiked the ball over the net.
The set went on until the score read 6-4 with Urbandale leading. Severson and Carey both had kills against the J-Hawks and was then followed by an ace serve. The Warriors then had the lead 7-6.
The Warriors continued to lead, winning the set by 10 points (25-15). Waukee was now leading the match 2-1.
In set four, Urbandale led by two points immediately after the Warriors had a missed serve and the J-Hawks blocked a hit.
The J-Hawks continued to lead the set, but the Warriors would keep the gap tight.
With a kill from Bush the score was 10-9, but just a few volleys later, the J-Hawks were leading 14-11.
The trend went on until the Warriors had a block that put them behind by just one point, again (21-20). This time, the J-Hawks had a hit that went out which allowed the set to finally tie up at 21-21.
With a tip by Maggie Clark, the Warriors soon led 23-22. But, the J-Hawks came back with two kills and a tip allowing them to win the set 25-23 and tie up the match.
In the fifth set, the Warriors had the lead right away. Just two volleys in, they were up 2-0.
It didn’t take long for the set to tie, though. After a four-hit call on the Waukee, the set was tied at 7-7.
The set continued to go back and forth tying up until Carey was up to serve. Carey had three serves, all of which were aces putting the score at 13-10. Carey finished the match with 23 successful serves out of her 24 total serves, she also had four aces.
The J-Hawks were able to stop the Warriors with a block, allowing them to follow by just two points.
The Warriors were able to hold the J-Hawks at 11 points and won the set 15-11, putting the match at 3-2.
“Obviously you love to be in those matches just because it gets you prepared for postseason,” Turk said, “so anytime you’re in a five-set match you just grow as a team. Either way, win or lose you learn a lot and that game was really exciting that our girls showed so much fight. We’re definitely still coming into ourselves, we’re trying to figure out who we are. That fight at the end, that just shows a lot about these girls and a lot about the young players, a lot of them are sophomores and juniors and I’m just so proud of the way they’ve stepped up tonight and finished that game, it just took a lot of guts.
The Warriors have an invitational on Saturday, Sept. 9 at Southeast Polk at 8 a.m.