The IMS volleyball team was able to contain the Columbus Wildcats in four sets on Thursday night, despite losing starting setter Samantha Miller to an ankle injury at the end of the first set. Similar to the Wapello match where IMS lost sophomore starter Mia Graber to an injury, the team was able to re-group and hold off the pesky Wildcats in their home lair on “Pink Night” for breast cancer. Set scores were: 25-17, 25-21, 23-25, 25-21.
The second set introduced a new lineup for IMS due to Miller’s injury. Junior Rubye Ney moved to the setting position, senior Monet Slabach moved to middle, sophomore Katelyn Lehman and freshman Yanitza Gutierrez-Larios alternated at right front. “We were fortunate to recently start having Katelyn and Yanitza dress varsity. They saw their first real varsity action tonight,” coach Miller commented.
In the third set, IMS started out behind and at one point was behind 12-19. However, IMS was able to battle back behind strong hitting from seniors Alyssa Hershberger and Avery Blauvelt, tying the score at 23-23. Unfortunately, a hitting error and a digging error by IMS allowed Columbus to win the set 23-25.
The fourth set remained close as IMS was still trying to adjust to their new lineup. The set had six score ties, but IMS broke open the set at 21-19 and kept the lead, winning 25-21. “For the second time this season, the team had to adjust to the loss of a starter during a match. In volleyball, where players get used to playing next to each other, learning each other’s tendencies, this can be a difficult transition on short notice. Rubye Ney is our number two setter and has been practicing as such. I am pleased with the way the team adjusted to her sets. Monet Slabach played middle front last year on JV, but has not seen significant practice or playing time at middle front this season. She stepped up very well into a difficult position,” coach Miller stated.
Statistical leaders for the evening were: Rubye Ney with 22 assists and 19 digs, Suzanna Yoder with 12 kills, Avery Blauvelt with five service aces, and Monet Slabach with four total blocks.