It was the first weekend action of the season for the Van Meter volleyball team as the traveled to West Marshall High School for the West Marshall Invite.


The Bulldogs took on four opponents over the course of Saturday including Grundy Center, PCM, BCLUW, and Columbus Catholic. Van Meter ended up splitting the day going 2-2 with wins over PCM (Monroe) and BCLUW. The two losses on the day came from Columbus Catholic and Class 2A’s 13th ranked Grundy Center.


It was the Grundy Center match that the Bulldogs opened up the tournament with. It was quite the contest that included rough starts to both sets for Van Meter. The Bulldogs found themselves down early in set one and while a strong surge was made at the end, they still faltered in set one 21-18. Set two was one to forget as a quick surge by Grundy Center ended in a 21-9 loss for the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs did collect a tournament high six blocks against the Spartans but did allow four aces and 27 kills by Grundy Center.


PCM was next up on the docket for the Bulldogs and they certainly came out swinging and with the help of a tournament high ten aces, the Bulldogs came broke away late in set one for a 21-15 victory and smothered PCM in set two to take the match 21-3. Senior Emma Barr paced the way for the Bulldogs in that match with eight out of the ten aces for the team. A large part of Barr’s success had to do with 25 successful serves out of 26 total serves for the match. Fellow senior Natalie Barth, who finished the day with 26 total kills, had five alone against PCM to pace the Bulldogs.


From there, the Bulldogs would enter into a three set battle with BCLUW and came out on top with a two set to one victory. Van Meter took set one by a 21-15 final and overcame a 21-15 set two loss by claiming set three and the match 15-10. Junior Emma Braun was instrumental in a productive offense, earning a tournament second best 12 assists. Fellow junior Norah Matt paced the team with ten digs while senior Natalie Barth was an instrumental piece with a team best six kills and four aces for the contest.


The Bulldogs were riding high into their final match of the day which came against Columbus Catholic. It was an extremely competitive contest that began with an extremely competitive set one. It was a back-and-forth battle that unfortunately did not end in favor of the Bulldogs as they dropped set one in extras 27-25. Set two had a few slips by the Bulldogs which Columbus Catholic took advantage of and rode that to a 25-17 set two victory over Van Meter. Norah Matt led the way in assists for the Bulldogs collecting a tournament high 21 digs. Natalie Barth had her best game in terms of kills with a personal tournament best nine kills against Columbus Catholic while Emma Braun led the team with 15 assists for the match.


The weekend action now has the Bulldogs sitting with a record of 2-4. Their next chance for a victory will come today at 5 p.m. as they travel to Truro to battle Interstate-35.