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For the second straight year, the Winfield-Mt. Union volleyball team has knocked Iowa Mennonite out of the playoffs in straight sets.
The 3-0 (25-14, 25-16, 25-21) win by the Wolves ends the season of Iowa Mennonite at a 19-15 record.
“I just think our team needs to hold their head high and be proud (of their season),” Iowa Mennonite coach Shannon Miller said.
The Wolves were able to advance by consistently getting the ball to their hitters and handling a mostly out-of-system Iowa Mennonite team.
Iowa Mennonite was playing without their starting center and on short notice thrust sophomore Yani Gutierrez-Lanos into the position. Gutierrez-Lanos finished the night with 10 assists and Miller said she played well for not having played the position in game since the early season.
“One of the things we emphasize in our gym is that all players can play all positions. They may not be an expert at it, but if needed they can go to a different place,” Miller said.
Gutierrez-Lanos started off the day with an ace and Iowa Mennonite got out to an 8-4 lead in the first set after kills from Rubye Ney and Mia Graber. Then the Wolves struck back.
They ripped out seven straight points to take back the lead and eventually cruised to a 25-14 set win. Iowa Mennonite had a tough time after the long Winfield-Mt. Union streak getting into system and the unforced errors started to pile up after that.
The Wolves on the other hand continued to feed Jenna Buffington, who had 17 kills to lead all players on the night.
Iowa Mennonite was led by Graber with six kills and Ney with five kills.
The Wolves seemed to continue on with their first set momentum and hopped out to a 9-3 lead early in the second set. Iowa Mennonite used a pair of kills and seemed to grab some momentum back after Suzanna Yoder made two diving plays in the same three-hit sequence to bring the score to 14-11 in favor of Winfield-Mt. Union. Instead the Wolves slammed the door shut and continued on to a 25-16 set win.
The third set was Iowa Mennonite’s best, but it seemed every time Iowa Mennonite would pull within one point the Wolves would set up a player and they would place the ball cross court and away from a waiting Iowa Mennonite player.
Things stayed close before a 19-14 lead by Winfield-Mt. Union. Iowa Mennonite didn’t give up and brought things back to 21-20 and forced a timeout to be called. The Wolves went on to win 25-21.
After the game, Miller said she just spent time with the seniors and thanked them for their work within the team.
“They are the core of the team,” she said. “Before our assistant coach could start they had to step up during the offseason and summer to help teach the new players.”
Iowa Mennonite: 14; 16; 21
Winfield-Mt. Union: 25; 25; 25