Rebels breeze past Meskawki in 3
No. 13 G-R nets first-round win over Warriors
REINBECK — Gladbrook-Reinbeck volleyball played their game on Monday and let everything else fall into place.
The Rebels swept Meskwaki, 3-0, to advance to the Class 1A Region 5 quarterfinals with a first-round victory at Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School.
G-R (20-18), rated 13th in Class 1A, won 25-7, 25-9, 25-3 and will be at home on Wednesday to face H-L-V, four-set winners over BGM on Monday. Meskwaki bows out at 1-25.
“We wanted to work on things today, get out of our comfort zone and click more together as a team to get our reps and get our hitters ready for games to come,” said G-R junior Lily Dripps.
Kennedy Brant led the Rebels with 10 kills, Elly Sieh added nine kills. Dripps and Jaden Hansen contributed five kills each and Braelynn Morgan added four kills. Kailey Larsen distributed 28 assists and had a team-best six digs.
The Rebels started with a 10-1 run to cruise to a first-set victory. The second set started with a 5-5 back-and-forth due to some G-R errors, but it was a quick course correction with a 20-4 G-R run to end the second set.
“We really wanted to work on making less unforced errors, and I thought we did a really good job with that tonight,” G-R head coach Paula Kelley said. “And we’ve been focusing on our passing all season long and there were a couple of times we could’ve done better, but our passing was really good tonight.”
A 12-1 run to start the third set was plenty for the hosts. Brant added five ace serves and four total blocks and senior Kloie Hendricks dropped in three ace serves.
“We’re pumped right now,” Dripps said. “We’re ready for practice tomorrow and then our game Wednesday, and this just gives us the extra nudge to continue to push and know we have the power to make it far.”
With so many young contributors on this year’s team filling in spots from last year’s state runner-up, Dripps admits there have been times this season where the team hasn’t had it’s best stuff.
But the Rebels have continued to strive for the expectation that G-R volleyball has established in recent years as a program, and it’s that extra push that seated them as the second seed in the Region 5 bracket behind fourth-ranked BCLUW.
“The girls are really starting to step into that role, and we’re really on an upswing here,” Kelley said. “I feel like we’re peaking at the right time.”