Despite arguably their best start to a single-game match this season, the ADM High School volleyball team fell in a conference contest to Carroll 3-2.
Held within the confines of ADM High School, the host Tigers were itching for their second straight conference win but a late-game surge by Carroll forced ADM to suffer just their first conference defeat of the season.
The match started out well in favor of the hometown Tigers but it certainly wasn’t easy. It was a kneck and kneck battle through ten points but then ADM slowly started to pull away beginning with a Delaney Bertman trip to the serving line. The Tigers got up to a 16-12 lead en route to taking set one by a 25-21 final. Set two had a little bit of everything beginning with a 5-1 ADM lead right out of the gate. The tides shifted a bit as Carroll stormed back to claim a 12-10 lead but premier serving by ADM kept the Carroll offense from getting much traction from there on out. ADM took set two 25-22.
A big part of the strong offensive performances in sets one and two came from senior star Abbie Hlas. When all was said and done, Hlas recorded a season-high 33 digs for the contest, half of which came in those first two sets. Hlas kept that consistency throughout the match despite the overall loss, something that really impressed head coach Mary Beth Scott.
“In all my years of coaching it’s been rare to see a performance like the one Abbie put up here tonight,” began Scott. “It was almost emotional the way she was able to dig, hit, assist, and just flat out play. She highlighted our strengths there in sets one and two for sure and without her, we wouldn’t have been in the positions that we were.”
With the chance to end the game early, ADM came up a little short in set three falling 25-19. The hometown Tigers couldn’t manage to stop from hurting themselves in set four and a number of 4-0 Carroll runs throughout the set led to a 25-15 set loss for ADM. Then it came down to the decisive set five. Unfortunately for ADM, what was a back-and-forth set turned in favor of the Carroll Tigers due to an 8-1 run to wrap up the set, and thus the match.
While credit is surely given to their opponents, the ADM Tigers exhibited some of the true signs as to their downfall Tuesday night, and their faults for the season.
“Really whenever we’ve lost this season, it’s because we haven’t been able to get out of our own way and that’s exactly what happened tonight,” said Scott. “We often overshot the ball on our serves especially in sets three through five. When that happens you usually see a team have a tough time keeping up. Tonight, we just couldn’t manage to help out ourselves enough for the win.”
Along with her 33 digs, Hlas managed to go a perfect 17-of-17 from the serving line complete with a pair of aces. Ultimately, she was part of a strong performance by the Tigers who went 86-of-89 from the line overall. She was one of three players with double-digit digs on the night including Campbell James (15), and senior Josi Lonneman (17).
“In sports in general, consistency is huge and for us, it was what helped us stay in the game,” described Scott. “Along with our other seniors like Morgan Meyer, Josi Lonneman, and Delaney Bertman, Hlas is a shining example of what consistency can do for you as a player and a team.”
The team as a whole collected a season-high 82 digs. Delaney Bermtan had a solid night bringing in a team-best 18 assists. The senior also added in ten kills and 12 successful serves which now gives her 118 total assists and 86 successful serves on the season so far. Pacing the way in kills overall for the Tigers was fellow senior Josi Lonneman who collected 15 on the night which now gives her an even 100 kills, third-best within the Raccoon River Conference. Lonneman also added in 17 digs, 13 successful serves, and one ace.
The Tigers also had one of their most successful nights in the blocking department where they posted 33 total blocks, led by Delaney Bertman with nine.
ADM now rests with a 1-1 conference record. They have a chance to add to that mark with their next match on Tuesday, Sep. 24 as they welcome in Ballard for a home contest with first serve kicking things off at 7 p.m.