OTTUMWA — The number two was synonymous with a lot of the happenings at Evans Middle School Gymnasium Thursday night.
For the Ottumwa, Des Moines Lincoln and the ninth-ranked (4A) Indianola volleyball teams, it was a chance to play two matches. Each one of those three matches went exactly two games.
And, unfortunately for the Bulldog spikers, two wins went to the Indians including a second win over OHS on the Bulldogs home floor.
As they will hope to solidify on Saturday in their home gymnasium, the Indians proved to be too good for two CIML Metro Conference opponents on Thursday. Indianola swept past Des Moines Lincoln, 21-16 and 21-6, before toppling their closest competitor in the Metro with a 21-16, 21-11 sweep of the Bulldogs.
So far, so good for Indianola. At 20-10 overall on the season, the Indians are one win against Des Moines next week away from a perfect run to the regular season Metro crown.
Ottumwa, however, may have something to say about who goes home with the CIML Metro Conference tournament crown. Thursday’s opening-site triangular was just the start of the fun that could arise in Indianola this weekend for the conference tournament where Ottumwa could get one more shot at the Indians.
“I really want to beat them,” senior Megan Black said of Indianola. “Hopefully, we’ll get that chance on Saturday.”
Thursday, all in all, Bulldog head volleyball coach Jessica Carson was pleased with the effort of her team. With every Metro team vying for the same prize on Saturday, Thursday’s action at Evans was more of a preliminary to the main event at Indianola’s gym.
“Basically, all of the conference teams were playing each other at a couple of different sites. On Saturday, we’re going to be paired up with all the other conference teams we didn’t face,” Carson said. “We started doing this a few years ago. There’s a traveling trophy that goes to the winning team. They get their logo put on the trophy and they get to keep it for a full year.”