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The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

September 14, 2017 Iowa Mennonite volleyball continues to win despite injuries
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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The Iowa Mennonite School volleyball team continued to rack up the wins, and has climbed to the No. 10 team in Class 1A.

The team moved to 6-0 with a four set win against Columbus Junction (25-17, 25-21, 23-25, 25-21) last Tuesday.

Win number six came at a price, however, as setter Samantha Miller had to be helped off the court with an ankle injury as IMS locked up their set one win. This is just one week after top hitter Mia Graber was sidelined with a knee injury.

After the injury to Miller, Rubye Ney was forced to step into the setter role.

“She trains as a setter, but this is the first time she’s had to step in since team camp into a match situation, and I thought she did great,” head coach Shannon Miller said. “It’s always hard when you’re not planning on it and you’re thrown into a situation like that.”

In each set, IMS was a little sluggish getting out of the gate. In the first set, they trailed 8-5 before an 8-1 run gave them the lead. Columbus tightened things up before IMS closed out the set with a 7-0 run.

“Volleyball is a game of momentum,” Miller said. “We really try to focus on getting those three point runs.”

They trailed again early in set two, but a 6-0 run gave them a 14-12 lead. From there, Columbus never got the lead back as IMS rode out a 25-21 win.

In the third set, Columbus jumped out to an early 6-1 lead and successfully managed to keep their distance from IMS until they managed to tie things at 23, the first tie since the game was 1-1. Columbus managed to get the next two points and steal a set 25-23.

“There’s a lot of just little mistakes in there that we have to clean up. They’re very competitive athletes and I know that kept them close, but we need to go back and, with our new lineup, work on our fundamentals,” Miller said of the issues in that set.

IMS used one of their crucial three-point runs to take an 13-11 lead in the fourth set and stretched it out to five at 18-13, before Columbus came storming back with six straight points to take the lead. IMS responded right back and locked up another road win with a 25-21 fourth set.

Rubye Ney led the team in assists with 22, Suzanna Yoder collected 12 kills, Monet Slabach led the team with four digs, and libero Raine Hathaway collected 25 digs. The team had 12 aces in the game, with senior Avery Blauvelt collecting five of them.

With a second major injury to the team, Miller said the team will have to focus on basics as they get used to the dynamic.

“Now that we have such a different lineup than what we started the season with, we’re just going to go back and focus on the fundamentals.”

Box Score:

Iowa Mennonite School: 25;25;23;25

Columbus Junction: 17;21;25;21

Stat Leaders:


Suzanna Yoder 12


Rubye Ney 22


Raine Hathaway 25


Monet Slabach 4


Avery Blauvelt 16-19, 5 aces


It looked like IMS might cruise to another conference victory Sept. 5 when they hosted Winfield-Mount Union, but their opponents had other ideas.

IMS had to regroup Tuesday night after a pair of 25-18 set wins were erased in front of their home crowd. They regrouped from dropping sets 27-25 and 25-21 and kept their record unblemished with a 15-10 fifth set win.

“We always play WMU really closely and I think we got a little nervous. We started not playing our game and making fundamental errors,” head coach Shannon Miller said of the difference between the two games.

Miller said in the final set, they were much more clinical.

“We served well and that’s what really got us that match,” she said.

As a whole, the team was off from the service line on the night, with their 84.5 percent efficiency being 5.5 points lower than their season average through ten games.

Avery Blauvelt still managed four aces, despite a lower efficiency. Suzanna Yoder led the team in kills (15) and digs (17), while Samantha Miller collected 30 assists in the five setter. Six players collected double-digit digs in the winning effort.

Scoring Summary:

Winfield-Mount Union: 18;18;27;25;10

Iowa Mennonite School: 25;25;25;21;15


The IMS volleyball team faced some tough competition when participating at the Wilton Tournament, resulting in a 1-3 record September 9, their first losses of the season.

Their lone win was their second of the season and the week versus Winfield-Mount Union. Like Tuesday, they took the first two sets to sweep their tournament meeting.

IMS won their opening set against Mount Pleasant by a 25-22 margin, but proceeded to drop the next pair 25-23 and 15-13. Rubye Ney tallied 24 assists in the game, nearly doubling the amount of assists she collected in any other game over the course of the weekend. Three players, Avery Blauvelt, Raine Hathaway, and Suzanna Yoder collected double-digit digs in the three-setter.

Against hosts Wilton, ranked No. 9 in Class 2A, IMS was swept, but bounced back from a rough 25-5 set to make things more competitive in a 25-19 loss.

Durant also picked up a sweep of IMS (25-21, 25-15).

Scoring summary:

Winfield-Mount Union: 25;20

Iowa Mennonite School: 27;25

IMS: 5;19

Wilton: 25;25

IMS: 21;15

Durant: 25;25

Mount Pleasant: 22;25;15

IMS: 25;23;13

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