Redhawks win four in opener

adyn Rausch (2) celebrates with her teammates after scoring a point during the Meskwaki Tournament Saturday. Rausch was active on both sides of the net scoring a team high 35 kills and 52 assists to go along with seven aces and 20 digs. Photo by Darvin Graham

North Tama’s volleyball team got their season off to a good start Saturday at the Meskwaki Tournament.

The Redhawks opened against Class 2A second-ranked Denver. Though they ultimately lost the match to the Cyclones, they were able to put up a competitive first set that ended in a final score of 21-18. Final score of the second game was 21-10.

Jadyn Rausch led the way on both sides of the net for North Tama, recording five kills, six assists, three digs, one block and two aces in the two-set effort.

Once the Redhawks got past Denver, they didn’t look back.

Their second match of the day was against Class 3A fourteenth-ranked Roland-Story. The Norsemen took set one 21-14, but the Redhawks rallied to come out on top, winning 21-11 and 15-10 in the tie-breaking third set.

Aubree Monat (7) reaches high in the air to attempt a block during the Redhawks match against Roland-Story on Aug. 28. Monat led the team last season with 197 digs. Photo by Darvin Graham

Rausch was again the kills leader with 10 to lead all attackers in the match.

Lainey Willenbring contributed four kills and Mya Sierra put down three.

At the service line, Rausch and sophomore Izzy Hallett each had a pair of aces.

On the defensive side, Kaitlyn Calderwood led with 10 digs, while Rausch had eight, Willenbring five and Aubree Monat four.

North Tama next fought through two close sets against Vinton-Shellsburg to take their second win of the day. Set one ended in extra points with North Tama ahead 28-26. The second set also went to extras, though not as far, with a final score of 23-21.

Head Coach Channing Halstead leans in to give instruction to her team on Aug. 28 at the Meskwaki Tournament. North Tama ended the weekend with four wins, one coming against a ranked 3A Roland-Story squad. Photo by Darvin Graham

Shae Ewoldt put together a solid performance against the Vikettes, scoring eight kills to go along with Rausch who had nine. Freshman Briar Blake chipped in six kills to help the Redhawks attack.

Calderwood was again the digs leader, doubling her total against Roland-Story with 20.

The last two matches of the day were more lopsided as North Tama swept Meskwaki and Ankeny Settlement.

North Tama defeated Meskwaki Settlement 21-12 and 21-7, as well as Ankeny Christian 21-15 and 21-19.

The Redhawks are looking to take a step forward this season after finishing first in the Iowa Star South conference with a 15-14 overall record. Last season’s run was halted in the second round of the Class 1A playoffs against eventual state runner-up Gladbrook-Reinbeck.

Kaitlyn Calderwood serves during North Tama’s tournament match up with Roland-Story. Calderwood put together a team high 44 digs Saturday against five opposing teams. Photo by Darvin Graham

The team graduated three hitters off their squad including Abby DeBoef, Alexis Hansen and Dylan Rohlfsen. This year they’ll look toward a strong junior class with Rausch, Ewoldt and Willenbring along with seniors Kaitlyn Calderwood, Monat and Sierra to power their team.

The Redhawks will head back to Meskwaki Thursday for a triangular with the Warriors and Aplington-Parkersburg and will make their first home appearance Saturday with a tournament featuring BGM and North Fayette Valley.