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By Annika Wasson, City High
IOWA CITY – The No. 1 City High volleyball team can check Linn-Mar off the list in its quest to win an MVC Mississippi Division championship.
In a consistent workmanlike performance in the sweltering City High gym, the Little Hawks tamed the Lions on Tuesday night by identical scores of 25-17 in all three sets, improving their record to 5-0 overall and 1-0 in Conference Division play.
Despite missing senior all-conference middle Abby Saehler – out with an ankle injury – the remainder of the team was able to step up and get the job done. Junior Allison Fleming ably replaced Saehler in the first two sets with senior Emily Kopenick manning the middle in the third.
The Little Hawk hitters did not attack quite as well as they have in past games, but still were able to pull away with the win. A balanced attack coming from all of the offensive threats proved to be the right mix for success on this night.
Rachel Rinehart led the team with 9 kills, Michaela Nelson had 8, Aliyah Gustafson added 7 and Liz Hubing had 6. Consistency was the name of the game on the defensive side, as well, where Mickey Hansche had 12 digs, Hubing 11 and Rinehart contributed 10. All combined the team’s effort and was a recipe good enough to complete that initial stride toward winning a second consecutive divisional championship.
Setter Ruth Grace said although they came out on top, the team still needs to clean up a few pieces of their game.
“Even though we played well enough to win, we definitely know we need to improve to get to the level that we want to play at for games further down the road,” she said.
The Little Hawks are at the North Scott Tournament on Saturday, followed by a conference matchup with undefeated and No. 2 ranked Dubuque Hempstead at City next Tuesday.