Trojans snap streak versus CPU

Senior outside hitter Gracie Vest looks toward the Center Point-Urbana team in celebration as the Trojans were closing in on a three-set sweep over the Stromin’ Pointers on Sept. 9. The win snapped a six-game losing streak against CPU dating back to 2015. Vest and junior Kortney Babinat have been a force to be reckoned with at the net with 99 and 97 total kills this season respectively. -- Photo by Darvin Graham

The South Tama Trojan volleyball team had waited 694 days since their last WaMaC conference dual victory.

Last Thursday that streak came to an end as the Trojans defeated Center Point-Urbana in emphatic fashion 3-0.

“We were just so consistent tonight,” Head Coach Sam Cantonwine said. “Usually we’re riding the rollercoaster, but all three sets were very consistent tonight, which was great to see. Instead of taking three or four points on serve receive, we just sided out right away, which made a huge difference. Whereas in other games we’ve let the momentum go back on the other team’s side.”

The Trojans came out hot early with an opening set victory of 25-20.

“Tonight we had a lot more serves on the court,” Cantonwine said. “There have been some nights where we give a team 10 or so points just on serves alone. The girls had a hustle mentality out there. They decided that no ball is going to hit the floor unless we are going after it.”

Kortney Babinat and Ashlynn Kriegel go up for a block against Center Point-Urbana’s Lauren Antes during the Trojans’ home game on Sept. 9. The win took South Tama to 10-9 on the season and was part of a seven-game win streak dating back to Sept. 4. -- Photo by Darvin Graham

The Pointers managed a closer effort in the second and third sets, but it was not enough as South Tama prevailed in both sets with scores of 25-22 and 25-21 to take the win.

STC was led by Kortney Babinat who totaled 11 kills. She and Ashlynn Kriegel tied for the most blocks against CPU, each with three.

“Kortney and Gracie’s swing on the outside was key tonight,” Cantonwine said. “You can’t hit the ball much harder than those two and they helped us out a lot on the offensive side.”

Senior Gracie Vest was next in scoring for the Trojans with nine kills ahead of Kriegel who had three and Kayleah Laughlin who had two. Vest also threw down three aces from the service line.

Defensively, South Tama was able to compete well against CPU, often extending their possessions by digging out kill attempts or hustling out of bounds to save a loose ball.

Libero Cassandra Klostermann stares down the Center Point-Urbana offense as the two WaMaC schools faced off last week. The Trojans won out in three straight sets. Klostermann leads her team so far this season with 89 digs. -- Photo by Darvin Graham

“We’re definitely moving our feet a lot better right now,” Cantonwine said. “Especially in our serve receive passing where before we’d just stick out our arms and hope for the best. They’ve been able to get behind the ball better and that all comes from footwork.”

Dig leaders for the Trojans were Vest with 14, Mollie Wobeter with 12 and Cassandra Klostermann with nine.

Over the weekend South Tama went up the road to compete in a tournament at GMG.

The Trojans advanced to the finals in the tournament with wins over Montezuma, Lynnville-Sully, Collins-Maxwell and GMG.

Going into the finals match, STC had mounted what might have been their longest win streak in some time with a seven game stretch dating back to Sept. 4.

Junior hitter Ashlynn Kriegel elevates for a kill against CPU on Sept. 9. Kriegel is among a talented group of front line players protecting the net for the Trojans this season. Her season stats include eight blocks and 34 kills. -- Photo by Darvin Graham

However, in the finals they were faced with Grinnell who took the tournament title defeating South Tama 2-1.

The Trojans won the opening set 22-20 but were blown out 21-7 in the second and defeated 15-8 in the third.

South Tama played Benton on Tuesday for their Homecoming Week matchup. The Bobcats are 10-5 on the season and hold a 17-game win streak over the Trojans dating back to 2013.

South Tama is set to celebrate Senior Night on Sept. 21 with a conference dual against Williamsburg.