SOLON– The Solon Lady Spartans are ranked No. 2 in the Class 4A volleyball rankings, and they’ve been playing like it.
Solon walloped Durant 3-0 last Tuesday then took the title at the Cedar Rapids Washington tournament Saturday, defeating No. 9 Cedar Rapids Xavier in the championship game.
The Lady Spartans moved to 7-0, but did drop their first game of the season during a 2-1 win over Marion (ranked No. 12 in Class 4A) in pool play.
“Marion is a tough team, and we will see them again in pool play this weekend,” noted head coach Peter Gustin. “It was great to have a match where our girls were tested down to the wire. We struggled with our serving in the second set and they were able to put enough runs together to capitalize on our errors.”
The Lady Spartans defeated Marion (21-16, 19-21, 15-11), Cedar Rapids Jefferson (21-15, 21-12), Cedar Rapids Washington (21-16, 21-19), Dubuque Senior (21-11, 21-11) and Cedar Rapids Xavier (25-14, 25-19) Saturday.
“Our girls got stronger and stronger as the day went on,” Gustin said. “The competition wasn’t light, and our girls fed off the intensity of those matches. Our serve receive finally picked up, we made some digs that helped us win long rallies, and our blockers really made their presence felt at the net. Those aspects were missing in our first two matches, so it was great to see the team build on a strong start to the season.”
Solon’s serves have been strong to start the season.
Against Durant on Tuesday, the Lady Spartans had 24 aces up their sleeves, led by Jordan Smith with seven. Jordan Runge added six, while Rylee Smith and Katie Silberstein each contributed five.
Jordans Smith and Runge again led the Lady Spartans in kills with eight and six respectively. Taylor Nearad had 18 assists and Jordan Smith had nine digs.
“Our serving has helped us keep teams out of their offensive systems,” Gustin said. “Against Durant, our serving percentage dropped, but some of our servers were still able to put together aggressive runs.”
The Lady Spartans take their act on the road until a home match with Beckman Tuesday, Sept. 17. The girls travel to Maquoketa (Sept. 10), Williamsburg (Sept. 12) and Linn-Mar (tournament Saturday, Sept. 14).