Regina senior Grace SwenningBy Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – Regina made things interesting late in each set in Thursday’s River Valley Conference meeting with Cascade.
It was the Cougars that made all the plays late.
Abbie Ruggeberg clinched each of the first two sets with kills and finished with a match-high 10 kills as Cascade downed Class 2A No. 13 Regina 25-23, 25-23, 25-23 in a RVC cross-divisional match at Regina.
“We were there, we were right there a couple of times,” Regina coach Kara Kimm said. “I wanted this so badly for them and I thought ‘o.k. here we go we are going to make a run’, and they shut us down and we got in our heads and we had nothing.”
The loss snapped a six-match winning streak top open the season for Regina (6-1) which dropped to 1-1 in RVC play.
Neither team had a lead bigger than five in any set in a back-and-forth match that saw Cascade (7-6, 3-0 RVC) come up with the big plays late.
“In order to be successful this season we are really trying to focus on finishing matches,” Cascade coach Mary Frake said. “Everybody has to play their role on the team in order to do that and we are working hard to do that right now.”
Regina led 8-5 early in the opening set before Cascade used a 6-0 run to take a 14-10 advantage.
The Regals climbed back into the opening set and trailed just 23-22 after an Alexa Lehman kill.
Regina fought off a set point on a kill by Sarah Lehman that made the score 24-23 but Ruggeberg ended the opening set with a kill.
“That’s a great team and they were putting it in spots that we weren’t,” Kimm said of Cascade. “That’s sometimes the type of volleyball you have to play.”
Cascade took control of the match in the second set, rallying from deficits of 8-5 and 18-16 to take a two sets to none lead.
The Cougars used a 6-0 run that featured a kill by Kelly Bergfeld, a Lisa Tucker ace block and an ace serve by Kendra Johnson to turn an 18-16 deficit into a 22-18 lead they would never give up.
Regina closed to 24-23 on a Cascade hitting error but Ruggeberg clinched the win with her fifth kill of the set.
“We got up and I think we got comfortable and I don’t know why because there was no reason we should be,” Regina senior Grace Swenning said. “I think we were just having an off night and we got comfortable when we shouldn’t.”
Regina led 15-10 in the third before another Cascade rally.
The Cougars scored six straight to take the lead and took control of the match with a 3-0 spurt that make it 19-17.
Seven Cascade points during its 9-2 run came as the result of Regina errors.
“We weren’t talking tonight and we weren’t shaking off our errors,” Swenning said. “We weren’t communicating well.”
Regina again trailed 24-23 after a Lehman kill but a net violation resulted in the final point for Cascade.
Lehman finished with nine kills for Regina and was the center of the defensive focus for Cascade.
Katrina Chambliss had seven kills while Alexa Lehman and Wolfe each had five kills for Regina.
“Coming in the keys to the game were just staying strong on serve receive and defense and controlling Lehman and trying to keep her out of the game as much as possible,” Frake said. “We have some good height on our team and our girls do a pretty good job of moving around and getting their hands on balls which helps our defense tremendously.”
Regina 23 23 23
Cascade 25 25 25
Katrina Chambliss 7-3-0, Grace Swenning 0-1-0, Sarah Lehman 9-0-0, Alexa Lehman 5-0-0, Olivia Wolfe 5-0-3, Katie Dunn 4-0-1, Katelyn Murhammer 0-1-0, Team 30-4-5
Assists – Grace Swenning 24.
Lisa Tucker 4-0-1, Rachel Trumm 3-0-2, Kelly Bergfeld 4-0-0, Abbie Ruggeberg 10-0-1, Brittany Koppes 0-1-0, Kendra Johnson 0-2-0, Shannon Rogers 4-0-0, Team 25-4-4.
Assists – Anna Hunt 17, Shannon Rogers 1.