It was a weekend of near perfection for the Van Meter volleyball team as they went undefeated in their weekend action in Madrid.


The Bulldogs were taking on the Madrid Invite and extended their winning streak to eight matches with five straight wins Saturday. They faced off against Collins-Maxwell, Hampton-Dumont-CAL, Colfax-Mingo, Webster City, and West Marshall. Throughout the tough field, the Bulldogs suffered just three-set losses while sweeping opponents twice. Overall the Bulldogs hammered out 133 kills, 120 assists, and 225 digs on the day.


The Bulldogs captured sweeps over Colfax-Mingo and Webster City while going the distance with three-set wins over Collins-Maxwell, Hampton-Dumont-CAL, and West Marshall. It was the Collins-Maxwell match that may have been the biggest highlight with 32 total team kills, 30 assists, and 41 total digs. Van Meter started off well with a 21-15 set one win and showcased their strength by overcoming an upsetting 21-18 set two defeat with a 15-8 set three and match win. Of the 32 total kills within that match was led by senior Natalie Barth who posted nine kills followed by freshmen phenom Abby Matt with seven. The senior/freshman pair also went strong from the serving line as both posted three aces each. The team as a whole had their best outing of the day with a day-best eleven aces.


The other really big match for the Bulldogs was against Hampton-Dumont-CAL. It was a tough start for Van Meter falling late in set one 21-17 but then stormed back in a big way to capture set two 21-13 and sneak away with the final set 15-11. As good as Natalie Barth was against Colfax-Mingo, she was spectacular in the match-up as she produced a tournament-best 16 kills, part of a 44 kill performance overall. It was also a strong outing for junior Emma Braun who tied her tournament-high with 27 assists in that match alone. The other match in which Braun totaled 27 assists came against Collins-Maxwell.


It was a battle for the digs crown all day long between freshman Abby Matt and junior Norah Matt. Abby totaled 58 for the day which fell just short of Norah’s 66 digs which led the entire Bulldog roster. Both Norah and Abby Matt accounted for over half of Van Meter’s digs against Hampton-Dumont-CAL. Van Meter totaled 59 total digs in that match-up, the largest digs total in a tournament setting this season.


The Bulldogs increased their record to 14-6 overall with the five-match sweep over the weekend. They now sit squarely in fourth place inside West Central Activities Conference play behind Pleasantville (12-5), ACGC (17-3), and Class 3A’s 11th ranked Des Moines Christian (18-2). Next up for the Bulldogs will be another conference showdown as they welcome in Panorama to Van Meter High School. This is the first match-up between these two schools in 2019 and it will honor the seniors with the senior night. The festivities will kick off with the freshmen game at 5 p.m. followed by the JV squad and then finished with the varsity match-up.