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Redhawks finish 2-2 in BCLUW tournament, sweep Spartans on Senior Night

October 17, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

North Tama volleyball took on one last tune-up before their conference tournament as they travel to Conrad for a tournament at BCLUW on Saturday, Oct. 12, going 2-2 on the day as the Redhawks prepare for the postseason.

"I like this tournament because it's decent competition at the end of the season," coach Channing Halstead said. "We got some good reps and hopefully they help in the postseason.

The morning began with a familiar opponent in Baxter, whom the Redhawks had beaten on the road on Thursday in conference play. The Bolts take the third set away from the Redhawks in a contest battle of two teams at the top of the Iowa Star South division. North Tama emerge triumphant on Thursday and continued their success in more convincing fashion with a 21-12, 21-4 win in Conrad.

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North Tama volleyball won their third consecutive Iowa Star South conference title with a 5-0 record this season.

"We had at least 12 errors in that game and you can't do that against anyone," Halstead said. "I was happy we handed it back to Baxter."

North Tama's success would continue as they cruised past East Marshall 21-13, 21-12 before taking on host BCLUW in the final match of pool play. Both the Redhawks and the Comets are slated for the same Regional in postseason play beginning later in the month, providing the teams a look at each other to prepare for a possible rematch. The Comets took control of the game early on their way to 21-15, 21-17 win.

"We definitely didn't give [BCLUW] our best game," Halstead said. "We didn't serve or pass well and played into their slower tempo. This match gave us a good look at them. They played very well and we didn't. We need expose them defensively and with our serve receive if we face them again in Regionals."

The Redhawks finished their pool 2-1, good enough for runner-up and to continue into the championship bracket. New Hampton, the sixth-ranked team in 3A, awaited them. While North Tama would fight back with strong defensively play from Takoa Kopriva, Lainey Willenbring and Aubree Monat, the firepower of the Chickasaws proved too much as they took both sets 25-21, 25-18, eventually winning the tournament title over Gladbrook-Reinbeck in the next round.

"New Hampton has a tradition of winning and passed the ball well against us," Halstead said. "I thought we could serve more aggressively against them, but we found ourselves playing catch up the whole match. We tried a new look defensively that worked well and now we have that in our back pocket for later."

One final conference game remained as the Redhawks hosted Collins-Maxwell on Senior Night on Monday, sweeping the Spartans to be named Iowa Star South Conference Champions for the third year in a row.

"It had been 11 years prior to 2017 that North Tama volleyball had won their conference," Halstead said. "Going from an 11 year drought to a three-peat is a big accomplishment for these seniors.

North Tama will compete in the Iowa Star Conference Meet at Meskwaki on Saturday, October 19 as their final test before Regionals. The Redhawks received a bye for the first round and will face the winner of GMG/Collins-Maxwell in Traer on Monday, Oct. 28. The third round of Regionals will also be hosted in traer on Halloween night.



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