(Red Oak) — For the second-straight postseason match, the Red Oak volleyball team swept their way to victory.
The Class 3A No. 9 Tigers (29-4) took down Hawkeye Ten foe Clarinda (7-20) in straight sets 25-18, 25-9, 25-15 to move within one win of the state tournament.
"I think they played well," said Head Coach Angie Montgomery. "It's sometimes hard to adjust to the stuff that just kind of trickles along the tape and there's not a lot you can do. We had some miscommunications in serve receive a few times, but overall, I like what I'm seeing.”
Red Oak scored the first five points of the opening set and never looked back, leading by as many as nine points on their way to a 25-18 victory. In the second set, the Tigers again scored the first five points and 20 fo the first 24 to take a commanding lead. The Cardinals were able to keep the third set a little tighter early on, but it was again the Tigers using a dominant night at the net to pull away for the quick win.
Red Oak finished the night with six aces and just five service errors, but it was their aggressive serving that kept Clarinda behind the eight-ball all night.
"That's one of our goals always, especially in the last couple years," said Montgomery. "We would rather serve hard and aggressive. We do a lot of serving drills in practice every day where they are serving for time, they're serving aggressive at boxes. They are comfortable doing that. It's good to see them do that and take some risks."
The Tigers were paced by 13 kills apiece from Lexi Johnson and Liz Carbaugh. Carbaugh was able to find openings in the Clarinda defense at the net and used that for an efficient night.
"A lot of that was Tory Carrick in the back row calling her and telling her where those openings are," said Montgomery. "When a good team scouts you and they look at where your big hitters are, they are going to backload the court on you.”
Setter Chloe DeVries passed out 29 assists on the night as well.
“Our favorite thing to do is to make those finesse shots and pull teams out of where they're comfortable playing. She just had a dominant night tonight. She was very efficient from the front row and especially on the block."
Red Oak advances to a Class 3A Regional Final next Tuesday against Knoxville at a site to be determined. After the game, KMA Sports talked with Carbaugh, Johnson and Montgomery in a video interview you can view below.
Clarinda was led by Taylor Cole, who stepped out of her libero role to play all six rotations and collect seven kills. Teya Stickler handed out 15 assists on the night. Stickler, Faith Espinosa, Jessalee Neihart, Kristen Smith and Makayla Fichter all graduate for the Cardinals.