Caston 5th, Rochester 10th, Winamac 12th at Tomahawk Invite
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
DENVER — The Caston, Rochester and Winamac volleyball teams looked up to South Adams at the end of the Tomahawk Invitational at North Miami Saturday.
Caston went 3-1 on the day and finished fifth in the 12-team field. Rochester went 1-3 and placed 10th. Winamac went 0-4 and finished 12th.
South Adams went 4-0 on the day to win the tournament, capping their day with a 25-23, 25-23 win over Northfield in the championship match.
Caston began their day with a 25-20, 27-25 win over Northwestern, a Class 3A team that hs won four sectional titles in the last six years. They then lost to Wabash, 20-25, 25-14, 15-13 in their second pool play match.
In medal round play, Caston swept Peru 25-18, 25-18 before their 25-22, 25-17 win over North Miami in the fifth-place match.
Isabel Scales had 28 kills and five blocks on the day. Alexa Finke had 22 kills and six blocks. Macee Hinderlider had 21 kills. Shaylei Yadon had seven kills.
Annie Harsh had 35 assists, and Makena Middleton had 34 assists for the day.
The loss to Wabash was their first of the season after five wins. The wins over Peru and North Miami pushed their record to 7-1.
“Well, I mean I think we had to change our rotation and our lineup today, playing some people at different positions and trying to pick out what was best for us as far as how we could be offensively more aggressive,” Caston coach Gina Hierlmeier said. “We started with Bel (Scales) in the middle, which is where she usually plays. We (moved) her to the outside with our lineup today. I thought Wabash did a good job of just keeping us on our heels any time we would get back in the match, especially after that second set or even in the third. They just did a great job of moving us around. … I felt like we let that one slip away. We gave up too many opportunities.”
In addition to Yadon, Madi Douglass were the two newcomers who saw the most playing time.
“Shaylei has been practicing with the varsity every day,” Hierlmeier said. “That’s one thing we have to work on with her. I don’t have any qualms or any issues or fears of her being at the net, but it’s just the speed of the game. Madi is still just a freshman, still learning a lot, but she’ll catch on because she’s just that athletic.”
Caston def. Northwestern, 25-20, 27-25
Wabash def. Caston, 20-25, 25-14, 15-13
Caston def. Peru, 25-18, 25-18
Caston def. North Miami, 25-22, 25-17
The Lady Zs began their day with a 25-12, 25-14 loss to Eastbrook and a 25-11, 25-14 loss to eventual tournament champion South Adams in pool play. They then beat Delphi 25-12, 25-15 in their first medal round match before losing to Northwestern 25-23, 25-20 in the ninth-place match.
Rochester’s record is 1-5 on the season going into home matches next week against Triton Monday and Culver Academy Thursday.
“We started playing more aggressively,” Rochester coach Laneia Strasser said. “We started swinging more. Our serve-receive was night-and-day from the morning to the afternoon. I stressed after the first game, and our serve receive really struggled, I said, ‘You know all the mechanics to serve receive. It’s not a matter of you knowing what to do. It’s just you implementing it. … It’s an experience thing. They all know how to serve-receive. We do it in practice every day. So where we started this morning in serve-receive versus where we ended, night and day. I think it finally clicked.”
Junior Audrey Bolinger and freshman Brailyn Hunter tied for the team lead with 11 kills on the day. Darah Strasser had 10, and Aubrey Wilson had five.
Wilson also led with 25 assists, 25 digs and four aces.
Bolinger also had seven blocks and four aces.
Darah Strasser had 10 kills, two blocks and 20 digs.
Mia Howdeshell had four assists and four aces.
Freshman Logyn Honkomp had a team-high 27 digs.
Rochester played without junior outside hitter Lillee Lett, Coach Strasser said she is “wishful, hopeful” that she would be back by the end of the week.
“The beginning of our season, obviously, we play a lot of tough competition, and then you take her out of the equation, I feel like today a couple of the games would have went a little differently if we had Lillee. … Her and Audrey, they have the most experience. We’re missing that super-strong outside hitter right now. I’m not saying that the younger girls haven’t stepped up; it’s just a lot of it’s confidence and experience.”
Eastbrook def. Rochester, 25-12, 25-14
South Adams def. Rochester, 25-11, 25-14
Rochester def. Delphi, 25-12, 25-15
Northwestern def. Rochester, 25-23, 25-20
Winamac started with a 25-17, 25-17 loss to Northfield and a 25-20, 25-16 loss to sectional rival and future Hoosier North rival North Miami in pool play. In the medal round, they lost to Northwestern 25-10, 25-14 and Delphi 25-20, 25-16.
The Lady Warriors dropped to 1-8 on the season.
“The scoreboard didn’t reflect the hustle, heart and comebacks Winamac put forth,” coach Heather Kasten said in a statement emailed to RTC.
Piper Link had 20 digs, three aces, eight kills and two block assists, and Raegan Kasten also had 20 digs and three aces.
Ally Campbell had two kills, three assists, two block assists, an ace and 16 digs.
Maggie Keller had 13 digs.
Brooke Rausch had 12 kills and two aces. Marissa Iverson had nine kills, four blocks and three aces.
Kaelyn O’Connor had a team-high five aces. Setter Linzy Walters had 34 assists and 11 digs.
“We have so many positive things working for us this year,” coach Kasten said. “It’s taking some time to figure out our strengths and adjust for our weaknesses, but we’re figuring it out. If we keep making improvements against the strong teams we’ve played so far, we’re going to be set for October.”
Northfield def. Winamac, 25-17, 25-17
North Miami def. Winamac, 25-20, 25-16
Northwestern def. Winamac, 25-10, 25-14
Delphi def. Winamac, 25-20, 25-16