SERGEANT BLUFF – Sergeant Bluff-Luton kept alive an impressive streak here Tuesday, sweeping Sioux City West 25-9, 25-9, 25-12 in high school volleyball action.
The Class 4A third-ranked Warriors (11-1) have been virtually impenetrable this season and the trend continued with their 11th shutout in 12 matches. The only team to win a set against SB-L was MOC-Floyd Valley, which also handed the Warriors their only setback, 2-1, at the MOC-Floyd Valley tournament.
“We took that loss to MOC and especially coming off last season it was a good eye-opener for the team and we’ve kind of refocused since then,” Sergeant Bluff-Luton Coach Renee Winkel said. “Heading into the Waukee tournament this weekend in kind of more of the heart of our schedule, we play a lot more higher ranked teams and a lot bigger schools, so that will be a bigger challenge for us.”
SB-L, last season’s 4A state runner-up, opened the season with three straight shutout wins before the surprise setback to MOC-Floyd Valey. Since then, the Warriors have blanked eight more foes in succession.
Tuesday’s victory came at a fast pace, with the three games lasting 19, 17 and 15 minutes, respectively.
“Our goal was to execute well as a team, to serve and pass well and I feel we did that tonight,” Winkel said. “We had a few more serving errors than I would like to see but overall I feel like we did a pretty good job.”
Junior Kenzie Foley rifled nine of the team’s 21 ace serves and also hammered a team-high nine kills. Senior Madison Harms, a returning all-stater, added eight kills to go along with three blocks, while freshman Emma Salker had five kills.
Senior setter Maya Schmidt provided 24 assists, while Abby Minten hustled for five digs.
West (0-13) kept it interesting in the final set, scoring three of the last four points and reaching double figures. The Wolverine players seemed especially excited when they scored their 10th point.
“They started having fun, they played a little better and a little looser, so that was nice,” West Coach Val Uken said. “Sergeant Bluff is a great team and when you pay somebody like that you always have to take away something
“They’re a great hitting team, they talked well and served well. Just don’t go through the motions but take away. We talked about their kind of training, what they did in the off-season. So even as a coach you need to take away from matches like this, you have to find the positives. We’re coming off a great weekend at West Monona where we played well and each day they’re getting better.”
Nia Moore posted three of West’s six kills and Eneyda Vazquez served 5-for-5 with an ace.
Sergeant Bluff-Luton, which trails only Cedar Rapids Xavier and defending state champion Dubuque Wahlert in the 4A poll, steps up to face stiff competition at the Waukee tournament Saturday.
The Warriors play four matches, three of those against Class 5A foes, including No. 7 Waukee and No. 9 Urbandale.