A few days of hard work on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday resulted in a tournament title for the Ankeny volleyball team on Saturday.
The sixth-ranked Hawkettes rallied from a one-set deficit to beat Waverly-Shell Rock, 19-25, 25-18, 15-8, in the championship match of the Boone Invitational. It was Ankeny’s 10th victory over a ranked opponent–the Go-Hawks are the No. 7 team in Class 4A.
“We had a good week of practices and felt determined to win the tournament by playing like we know we can,” said Ankeny senior Sara McCullough. “We know we can play at a high level and when we do, we work well together. As the end of the season is nearing, we are becoming more confident in ourselves and know what we need to do in order to beat teams.”
Ankeny raised its record to 22-10 on the season. Waverly-Shell Rock dropped to 21-6.
“We had a great day,” said Ankeny coach Joe Morton. “It was a true team effort–everyone contributed at different times to help us win. As a staff we were able to try different lineups and see what our bench is capable of, and it was impressive, too.”
Sophomore McKenna Scheib provided a spark in the title match. She came off the bench after Waverly-Shell Rock won the opening set.
“McKenna had four kills and a block about midway through the second set, and we never really looked back,” Morton said.
Ankeny swept all three of its opponents during pool play, including a 21-15, 21-15 victory over Gilbert. The win avenged last year’s three-set loss to the Tigers in the tournament semifinals.
The Hawkettes posted a 21-16, 21-13 triumph over Clarion-Goldfield-Dows, which is now 21-7 on the season. They also rolled to a 21-19, 21-7 win over Forest City (16-4), which entered the tournament with just one loss.
In the semifinals, Ankeny posted a 25-21, 25-16 victory over Algona.
“Details were a focus point for this tournament, and we stayed true to the small things and it showed,” Morton said. “It was nothing cute, just clean aggressive volleyball was the mantra.”
The Hawkettes will travel to Ames (11-12) on Tuesday for a CIML Central Conference match against the Little Cyclones, who went 1-3 at the Boone tournament on Saturday.