Oelwein volleyball head coach Lee Andersen has confidence in the team’s four seniors — not only that they will continue to play hard on the court, but will do great things beyond it.
The team, families and friends honored seniors Abbie Dahl, Naomi Gaede, Aryn Glew and Kennedy Lape, prior to Oelwein’s game against Waverly-Shell Rock Tuesday night.
“I really enjoy this group quite a bit,” Andersen told the Daily Register. “There are only four of them, but they each have their own unique personalities and quirks. It’s been really nice seeing them grow and mature over the years, both as volleyball players and as people.
“They work hard and do the right things, have good hearts, and it’s just been a pleasure to coach them. We’re going to enjoy the short time we have left with them this season, but I know they’ll all go on to do great things and make us proud.”
The Huskies were “pretty fired up and excited to play” their first home match of the season, Andersen said.
“But I think some of that energy also led to nervousness and getting a bit rattled when we were struggling,” he said. “Sometimes the other team is just stronger and that was the case here.”
The Class 4A No. 9-ranked Go-Hawks won their 15th match of the season Tuesday night in Oelwein. Waverly-Shell Rock won all three sets — 25-7, 25-11, 25-7.
“Waverly is an excellent team,” Andersen said. “They have a very strong program and Coach (EaVon) Woodin does a great job with her players. They came in and took it to us pretty hard. It helps that they have junior outside hitter Avery Beckett, who just so happens to be leading the entire state of Iowa in kills.”
Heading into Tuesday’s game, Beckett has 220 kills in 14 matches. Waverly-Shell Rock statistics from the Oelwein game were not available Wednesday.
“We really couldn’t do anything to slow her down and it left us playing defensively the entire match,” Andersen said.
Oelwein has averaged about 10.3 digs per set this season. On Tuesday, they averaged 7.7
“Our serve-receive struggled with their tough serving and we just never found any rhythm or momentum, Andersen said.
Oelwein’s next action will be Saturday when the Huskies (2-14) travel to the West Delaware Tournament in Manchester. Action begins at 9 a.m. They are scheduled to play West Delaware (13-6), Edgewood-Colesburg (7-3), Independence (6-2) and Maquoketa Valley (5-1).