The story of perfection continues on for the Dallas Center-Grimes volleyball team as they claimed their 12th straight victory Tuesday night in a three set sweep over conference foe Grinnell.
After their best start in school history, there seemed to be no pressure for the Fillies who dispatched Grinnell in three straight sets. Set one offered the most challenge for the Fillies but in the end they managed to pull ahead for the 25-17 set one win. Set two found a similar feel in a 25-16 win while the Fillies made sure to close out the match with a 25-14 set three win.
Katelyn Knudsen performed double duty by pacing DC-G in both kills with 12 and digs with 14. Kamryn O’Brien once again was dominant in the assist category amassing 19 on the night to give her a conference fourth best 143 total assists on the year. Sophomores Grace Mikota and Lexi Protzman tied for the team lead in blocks with two a piece while senior Dakota Miles led the way in aces with three on the night.
The win demonstrated more of what has brought the fourth ranked Fillies to this start in the first place. From trailing to leading and everything in between, the Fillies have gone through a lot of scenarios that have all helped them win.
“Although I’d like to see us get out ahead more this team has been in many different situations yet they’ve come out on top with a win so far,” began Fillie head coach Cheryl Voelker. “They’ve been really good about adapting to what the other team is giving them and staying focused in the process. We picked up on the down but not out mentality towards the end of the season last year and we’ve carried that over into this season which has helped us win regardless of the situation.”
Another win for the Fillies continues to grow what is close to being one of the best starts the state of Iowa has ever seen and with it brings a lot of excitement for the players, coaches, and fans.
“It’s always going to be exciting when you have a start like this and things are going your way,” began senior star Abby Greiman. “It’s a great feeling to get on a roll like this especially because we know we haven’t played our best volleyball yet.”
That excitement is not lost on any player, even the likes of Kamryn O’Brien who helped lead DC-G softball to the state softball tournament last season.
“Coming off of state softball, I didn’t want to come down from that but starting off they way we have in volleyball, that feeling of success at a high level is coming back,” said O’Brien.
So for dominance would be the word to best describe the performances by the Fillies so far in 2018. Out of the twelve matches played, they’ve delivered 11 shut out victories. It’s taken at the very least, 17 games the last three seasons to accumulate twelve shutout wins. There’s no doubt it’s been the strongest start they’ve had, but even with the unblemished mark, DC-G volleyball is far from satisfied.
“It’s fun to be undefeated so far but what is so great about these girls is that they know there’s more schedule ahead,” said Voelker. “The big stage and the bright lights haven’t gotten to their heads and that’s a great mindset to have especially with the schedule we have coming up.”
That same mindset has been noticed in the day to day play by the Fillies but also simply in the way they approach the game of volleyball.
“While we recognize the great start, we know that we’re capable of so much more and we’re not afraid to take on the tough competition,” began O’Brien. “I think that’s one of the greatest things about our team, we don’t really have any fear. We don’t let our record and our ranking stop us from keeping our eye on the ultimate prize. We want to the hard competition. We don’t want the easy games we want games that will challenge our strengths and help build us up for a deep postseason run.”
A start like this has many fans eyeing a potential state tournament run, something that hasn’t happened for the Fillies since the 2009 season when they were in Class 3A. In order to do that, the Fillies must continue to play at a high level and keep up what they deem as some of their biggest strengths.
“I’d say one of our biggest strengths this year is the options that we have,” began Greiman, who’s been involved with volleyball since the seventh grade. “We run a 6-2 offense this year which we haven’t run much in the past but we’re able to change that up even mid match because who we have. All of us can put the ball down well and even our inexperienced players are good about picking things up on the fly. We are able to substitute players in and out without missing a beat just because of the way we all can adapt to the game and learn from each other.”
It’s safe to say that the “inexperience” on the Fillie roster sure looks anything but inexperienced which as O’Brien mentioned, is largely due to team chemistry.
“We’ve always had good team chemistry in the past but unlike most years, there’s really no division between the grades,” began O’Brien. “The five seniors look at the underclassmen as equals and nothing more. This is my first year on varsity yet the way the seniors have welcomed me in, I feel like I’ve played with them for years. We have our other setter who’s a freshman but we don’t look at her as a freshman, we look at her as another important part of our team.”
Whether it’s the start of the season or the start of a great winning tradition, there’s no doubt about the level of fun DC-G volleyball is experiencing right now, and by the looks of it, neither the fun or the winning seems to be stopping anytime soon. There still lies challenges ahead, including the weekend tournament at Bondurant-Farrar High School on Saturday, September 15. It will be another pool play style tournament and as the schedule looks, the Fillies will be taking on host Bondurant-Farrar, Pella Christian, and Gilbert.