It was dig pink night Thursday evening as the ADM volleyball Tigers hosted non-conference rival and Class 4A 11th ranked Dallas Center-Grimes.
The annual event housed a silent auction and more to benefit those with cancer. It was an exceptional turnout for such a great cause that had ADM head coach Mary Beth Scott happy following the contest.
“It was a great turnout tonight, I’m very happy with how it went,” began Scott. “It’s an event that impacts so much more than just ourselves and it hit home for us with one of our community currently going through the struggle. Love this event and this game every year.”
As for the game itself, it was quite the back and forth battle. Very similar to how the season has gone for the Tigers, a three sets to one defeat truly didn’t do justice to how well ADM performed. That was evident from the get-go in set one as the Tigers matched the visiting Fillies point-for-point across the first 12 scores of the first set. A few strong serves from DC-G put the Fillies up 13-9 and ADM just couldn’t answer fast enough, falling 25-14 in set one.
The same narrative occurred in set two where ADM actually held the lead as large as 14-11 after falling behind 8-10 earlier in the set. Unfortunately for ADM, the visiting Fillies tied things up at 16-16 and with some quick kills by DC-G’s Katelyn Knudsen, outscored the Tigers 8-4 for a 24-20 lead. The Fillies would take set two by a 25-21 final. The resilient Tigers didn’t let the first two set affect them however and came out strong in set three with an 8-4 lead. Neither team could manage more than a two-point swing for most of the set until the Fillies managed to tie things up late at 22-22. ADM held strong throughout the rest of the set and claimed their 32nd set win of the season 25-23. It was a set that highlighted what coach Scott has been saying about her team all season long.
“When you just look at our record you might not think too much but if you dive deeper, we’ve played a lot of challenging teams and we’ve gone toe-to-toe with nearly every one of them,” began Scott. “We did that here tonight especially with set three. Throughout the year I’ve seen sets that are nearly perfect from these girls, performances that could be anyone in the state. The thing is we haven’t been consistent with those kinds of performances.”
Unfortunately, the inconsistency factor showed in set four where the Tigers quickly fell into a deep hole 14-4. With kills that came in bunches for DC-G, that lead for ADM quickly grew to a 24-7 deficit. ADM did storm back to make it 24-11 but it wasn’t enough in the end as the Tigers fell 25-11, thus falling in the match overall 3-1. It may have been a defeat for the Tigers but there was no stopping the talented Abbie Hlas who once again paced the team in digs and had a phenomenal night.
“Abbie is one of the few libero’s I’ve ever seen that I sit back and say “wow” and am moved by,” said coach Scott. “She does everything the right way from her digs to her dives, she has such great vision on the court on the little techniques that she has perfected goes a long way.”
It was surely a great performance from the senior who had a bitter-sweet feeling afterward.
“It’s unfortunate that we lost the game but I did feel like I played well, left it all out on the court,” began Hlas. “Coach really helped me work on the little things like diving for the ball on my side and digging the ball cleanly so that we can use that momentum. I felt I’ve really grown as a player thanks to her and tonight I felt really good about my performance.”
Hlas, coach Scott, and the rest of the Tigers will have a few more chances to pick up victories before their regular-season finale at Bondurant-Farrar on Tuesday, Oct. 15. Come Saturday, Oct. 12, the Tigers will take the long drive to Pella to battle a seven-team field including Bondurant-Farrar, Boone, Iowa City Liberty, Knoxville, Mediapolis, and host Pella. The tournament will begin at 9 a.m. from Pella High School.