Liz Baethke has never seen anything like this.
Her Ankeny volleyball program continues to be decimated by injuries. The fifth-ranked Hawkettes were swept by No. 3 Waukee Northwest on Tuesday at the AHS gym, where an Ankeny freshman earlier suffered an ACL tear.
“I don’t know what’s happening here, but it’s not good,” Baethke said after the Wolves posted a 25-22, 25-23, 25-19 victory.
Ankeny again played without senior all-staters Tanith Roush and Aowyn Schrader. Roush has been out all season after breaking her leg during fall camp, while Schrader found out last week that she has a torn UCL in her right elbow.
“I still feel like we’re trying to overcome some things,” Baethke said. “Maya (Ridgeway) was back tonight, and that was very helpful. Hopefully, Saturday we can pick up where we left off, but the jabs keep coming.”
Northwest avenged two earlier losses to the Hawkettes while remaining unbeaten in the CIML Conference. The Wolves improved to 5-0 in the league and 18-6 overall, while Ankeny’s records dropped to 3-2 and 17-8.
Northwest stayed a half-game behind No. 1 Dowling Catholic for first place in the conference. It was the ninth straight win for the Wolves, who defeated Dowling at the Cedar Falls tournament on Saturday.
“They didn’t make many mistakes at all,” Baethke said.
There were 11 ties and seven lead changes in a seesaw first set. The Hawkettes held a 20-19 lead before Northwest scored six of the next eight points and closed out the set on a kill by Chloe Jones.
In Set 2, Ankeny used a 9-2 run to build a 14-7 lead. Ady Brecht had a pair of kills, sandwiched around an ace by Lauren Dockendorff, to cap the run.
The Wolves later reeled off six straight points to erase a 22-18 deficit. A kill by Ava Wille halted Northwest’s run, but Kamryn Vogt then pounded a kill to close out the set.
The two teams were tied at 8-8 in Set 3 before the Wolves pulled away. Chloee Hayes had four aces in a 6-0 run that gave Northwest a 14-8 advantage.
The Wolves eventually closed out the match on a kill by Kate Hoover.
“I look out there and I know the girls are doing the best that they can with the adversity, but it’d just be nice to be able to get through a week without something else coming up,” Baethke said. “So hopefully, we can make that happen.”
Reagan Hanfelt had eight kills and five blocks to lead Ankeny. Brecht also had eight kills, Wille chipped in six, and Olivia Eike and Kamryn Scheib each added five.
Dockendorff dished out 17 assists, while Cloey Wiederin had 15 and also served a pair of aces. Baileigh Carlsen racked up 15 digs.
Northwest outhit Ankeny by a .227 to .158 margin. Jones led the Wolves with 11 kills, while Katrina Pelds added 10.
The Hawkettes will compete in the Waverly-Shell Rock Invitational on Saturday.