HUBBARD — Oelwein (2-13) won its first two matches of the season on Saturday, taking down Edgewood-Colesburg (7-3) and Saydel (2-7) at a tournament at South Hardin High School
The Huskies finished second in their pool going 2-1. Gladbrook-Reinbeck (11-1) knocked them out of the tournament in the semi-finals.
“Saturday’s tournament was a definite positive for us,” said Oelwein head coach Lee Anderson.
In pool play, Oelwein defeated Class 1A No. 9 Edgewood-Colesburg in two sets (23-21, 21-15) and Saydel (21-15, 21-10). South Hardin (12-3), which is ranked 11th in Class 2A needed three sets to beat the Huskies (19-21, 21-12, 15-7).
The Huskies began pool play with a three-set loss to South Hardin.
“Even though we lost the match, we won the first game and took them to a third,” Anderson said. “This gave us some nice positive energy to start the day (especially coming off of an almost two hour bus ride).
The Tigers were successful with 94.6% of their serves and had 32 kills.
The Huskies were dominant in their second game, Against Saydel, Oelwein junior Faylnn Buehler had eight aces while going 16-for-17 serving. She also had 15 assists as Oelwein had 17 kills. Sophomore Emma Smock had five kills, followed by senior Kennedy Lape, sophomore Zoey Reisner and freshman Natalie Crandall each with three, Buehler with two, and senior Naomi Gaede with one.
It was Oelwein’s first win of the season.
“It was good to get win no. 1 because I think it alleviated some of the pressure we had all been feeling,” Anderson said.
In their final pool game, the Huskies took down a ranked team in two sets. The Huskies were perfect from the serving line, going 43-for-43 against Edgewood-Colesburg. Buehler was 12-for-12 serving with three aces. She also had 11 assists and two kills.
“Buehler had a big day for us,” Anderson said. “She served well all tournament and ran our offense well -- when our passing allowed her to do so.”
Gaede had five kills against Edgewood-Colesburg. Reisner had three and sophomore Emma Smock had two.
“We played our best volleyball of the day,” Anderson said. “Not only did this give us two wins in a row, but it was also the first time we’ve beaten a ranked team in quite a while. We served at 100% and made very few errors -- which is an area we’ve been constantly looking to improve. Everything just clicked for us in this match and the result was a great win.”
Oelwein’s 2-1 record put them second in their pool, and the Huskies moved on to the championship bracket to play the no. 1 team from the tournament’s other pool.
The Rebels beat the Huskies in two sets (21-16, 21-7).
“It was a really nice first game, as we pushed them to a 16-16 tie, but ultimately we made some costly errors to give them the game,” Anderson said.
“In the second game, our serve receive fell apart and we just couldn’t get anything going. We had been playing really hard all day and I think we ran out of steam a bit there at the end.”
Buehler led with 12 assists in the match, and Reisner led with five of Oelwein’s 13 kills. The Huskies were 73.8% from the serving line with no aces. The Rebels were 97.6% serving with six aces.
“I wish our day would’ve ended a bit more positively, but overall, I was incredibly pleased with the way we played.”
The tournament success is a starting point.
“All in all, Saturday was a great team effort and the girls finally got to see some payoff to all of their hard work,” Anderson said. “Now we need to build off this momentum as we continue the season.”
With 44 kills so far this season Gaede is leading the Huskies offense.
“She is our go-to outside hitter,” Anderson said, noting the job Smock is doing on the other side.
“Smock has stepped up into a bigger role as the other outside and is doing a nice job for us,” he said.
Smock has 13 kills.
“Freshman middle hitter Natalie Crandall continues to improve with every match - she has a very bright future ahead,” Anderson said.
Buehler leads the team with 55 digs, followed by Reisner with 54/
“Reisner is a great all-around player -- she can do just about everything on the court and we need her consistency in order to be successful.
While Buehler leads the team with 97 assists, Lape is second with 29 and 13 kills. She also has 35 digs.
“Lape has embraced her new role in a very positive way too and she’s getting better both as a hitter and defensively as well, which are positions she didn’t play last year.”
UP NEXT: The Huskies host Waverly-Shell Rock (14-5) on Tuesday. It is senior night for the Huskies. The match begins at 7:15 p.m. The Go-Hawks are ranked 9th in Class 4A