Treynor Cardinals

(Treynor) -- The Treynor volleyball team brought the juice at last Saturday's Harlan Tournament. The result was a 5-1 record, a tournament title and a No. 14 ranking in Class 2A. 

"The girls had a lot of energy," Coach Kim Barents said. "We struggled a little bit against Tri-Center, but the girls held the energy throughout the day."

Energy is a big word in the Cardinals' program.

"When the girls have energy and play loose, they are fun to watch," Barents said. "When there's little or no energy, we struggle. It's key to us being successful."

The Cardinals overcame a loss to Tri-Center in pool play to beat Sidney, Harlan, Missouri Valley, Underwood and Indianola to claim the title.

Senior setter Emma Flathers kept the offense rolling on Saturday with 81 assists in five sets.

"She's valuable," Barents said about Flathers. "The up and comers are around her every day, and she's the leader for them. You don't find tall setters a whole lot. They are rare. Emma can set balls and play defense at the net. That helps us tons on the right side."

Madeline Lewis and Kailey Rochholz were the beneficiaries of Flathers' stellar setting. Lewis posted 34 kills (2.4 KPS), and Rochholz had 27 (1.9 KPS) on Saturday.

"We got lucky with our 1-2 tandem," Barents said. "When they are both clicking on the outside, it opens up the middle. Not too many teams get lucky like that."

Barents notes Kiralyn Horton and Natalie Simpson as other contributors to the offensive success.

The Cardinals entered the season needing to replace last year's libero, Stella Umphreys. However, Barents says her replacement has been by committee. Junior Delaney Simpson leads the way with 42 digs while Emma Stock, Keely Smith and Keelea Navarra have also helped fill the void.

"Those four have done a great job for us," Barents said.

Treynor posted a 16-10 campaign in 2020 with many of the same faces as this year's team, so Barents hopes her team can put it together at the right time.

"They have lofty goals," she said. "This is the seniors last year to have a chance at winning conference and making it to state. So far, they've worked hard and been pretty focused. We have to go day by day and let it pay off."

The Cardinals return to action on Saturday at the Atlantic Tournament where they will face Atlantic, St. Albert, Knoxville and Winterset.

"I just want us to build on what we started in Harlan," Barents said. "We can't step back. We have to take it forward."

Click below to hear the full interview with Coach Barents.

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