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Solon 2-2 at WaMaC tournament

Spartans push No. 13 Indee to brink
Junior Maddie Manifold applies a soft touch at the net against Maquoketa Oct. 6 in Solon. Manifold had five kills in the Spartans’ 2-1 loss to Independence Oct. 15.

MOUNT VERNON– Solon’s varsity volleyball team gave Independence a run for its money.
Facing the No. 13 (3A) Mustangs in the quarterfinals of the WaMaC Conference Tournament in Mount Vernon Oct. 15, the Spartans grabbed a thrilling 26-24 win in the first game, but couldn’t push past to the semifinals.
Independence rebounded to take the second game 25-22, and knocked Solon out of the tourney with a 15-8 third-set victory. The following semifinal pitted Mustang against Mustang, and Independence ran into the buzzsaw that is third-ranked (3A) Mount Vernon, the eventual conference champ.
Solon fell to Mount Vernon 2-0 during WaMaC pool play at Independence Oct. 12, and began the postseason on the road in a rematch with the Mustangs Monday, Oct. 19, in a Class 3A Region 7 quarterfinal in Mount Vernon.
Against Independence in the conference quarterfinal, the Spartans’ offense was potent, but the defense couldn’t keep pace with the Mustangs.
Solon connected on 27 of 47 kill attempts (.426), with a balanced attack led by sophomore Delaney Bombei with seven kills. Junior Maddie Manifold, senior Katlyn Jeter and senior Sarah Heick each contributed five and junior Camryn Keith four. Bombei and Heick were particularly efficient, going 7-8 and 5-6 on their swings.
Senior Kennedy Bombei handled the setting, with 14 assists.
Defensively, the Mustangs managed two more blocks and 23 more digs than the Spartans. Kennedy Bombei had the team’s lone solo block, with assists credited to Jeter and Delaney Bombei.
Sophomore Sophia Stahle and Kennedy Bombei each had eight digs, while Alexa Hupfeld added six.
Solon was 33-39 at the service stripe (84.6 percent), with aces by Stahle, Manifold, senior Sydney Langenberg and Hupfeld.
The Spartans reached the quarterfinal with a 2-0 win over Maquoketa earlier in the day.
The Cardinals continued to be a pesky opponent, but the Spartans held on to win 2-0 (25-23, 25-23).
Both teams ended up with 17 kills for the match, but Solon only needed 38 attempts; Maquoketa 64. Jeter led the team with five kills, followed by Manifold with four. Four other players had two. Kennedy Bombei had 13 assists.
Jeter and Delaney Bombei each had a solo block. Stahle had six digs, while Kennedy Bombei added five.
The Spartans connected on 39-42 serves (92.9 percent), with two aces each for Stahle and Hupfeld.
In pool play Oct. 12, Solon defeated Williamsburg 2-0 before falling to Mount Vernon by the same score.
The Spartans racked up nice numbers against the Raiders in the 21-17, 21-15 wins.
Solon knocked 27 kills on only 36 attempts (.639), and was 27-29 from the service line.
“We made it closer than it should have been,” commented Solon Head Coach Jeff Walker. “We are still learning that when we have a team down, not to let them back in, but we are getting better.”
Jeter and Delaney Bombei powered the offense with eight kills each. Manifold and Kennedy Bombei added four apiece, with three from Keith.
“Kate and Delaney both did great jobs,” Walker said. “They had mismatches against them and took advantage of them. What’s nice about this team, when one has an off night, someone else steps up.”
Sophomore Kylee Flynn had 15 assists and nine digs for the Spartans.
Delaney Bombei had three solo blocks, with two solo from Keith.
Kennedy Bombei added two aces.
It was not as close against Mount Vernon.
The No. 3 Mustangs dispatched Solon 21-13, 21-12 to close out pool play.
The Spartans were held to 16 serves, but connected on 15 of them, with two aces for Kennedy Bombei. Flynn had nine assists, with five kills each for Manifold and Jeter. Delaney Bombei had two solo blocks. The team had 14 digs, with four by Langenberg and three each for Flynn, Kennedy Bombei and Hupfeld.
“We just have to put a complete game together,” Walker said of the loss. “If we can do that, who knows what could happen?”
Solon’s record moved to 17-18 at the end of the tournament.