TUESDAY'S PREPS: Albia stays undefeated

The Albia volleyball team improved to 8-0 on the season on Tuesday, sweeping Centerville in the South Central Conference opener for both teams.

ALBIA — The Albia High School volleyball team pounded 26 kills, leading to a 25-20, 25-12, 25-18 sweep of Centerville to open South Central Conference play Tuesday.

The Lady Dees (8-0, 1-0 SCC), who have lost just one game and defeated three ranked teams — Class 1A Montezuma twice, and Class 4A Fairfield — early in the season, received a team-high 10 kills from Ellie Spurgin, while Abbey Griffin added eight.

Alex Beard had 19 assists to set up the offense, while Griffin and Abbie Martin had six digs apiece in the match.

Albia’s serving, though only 85 percent, came up with 22 aces against the Redettes. Griffin was 15 of 16 serving with five aces, while Jenna Gronewold, Martin and Spurgin had four apiece.

The Lady Dees visit Class 4A No. 15 Knoxville next Tuesday in an early battle between the league’s front-runners.

No. 13 Fairfield 18-25-25-25, Fort Madison 25-21-21-21

FAIRFIELD — The 13th-ranked (Class 4A) Trojans dropped the opening set, but outlasted the Bloodhounds in three hard-fought games after to claim a key Southeast Conference win between last year’s league co-champions.

Olivia Jones led Fairfield’s attack with 10 kills, while Grace Stever and Carly Ferrel added six apiece. Lily Hoskins had 24 assists for the Trojans.

Olivia McClaren had 28 digs to lead the defense, while Allison Rebling had nine. Both McClaren and Jones had two service aces apiece.

The Trojans visit Washington Tuesday.

EBF 25-25-25, Clarke 19-8-10

EDDYVILLE — Grace Roberts and Brooke Shafer combined for 17 kills as the Rockets opened their South Central Conference schedule with a home win over the Indians.

Peyton Deevers was 14 of 15 serving with three aces and had seven assists, while Emalee Davis had four digs in the win.

“We came out with a lot of fire and ready to play. I thought we hit very aggressive at the start of the match causing Clarke to struggle to set up an offense,” EBF coach Gladys Genskow said. “We will keep working on controlling the pass and cutting down errors on offense. I’m proud of how the girls kept focused.”

EBF visits Pella Christian Thursday.

Blue Demons, Pekin girls win at Albia Reservoir

ALBIA – The fourth-ranked (2A) Albia boys cross-country team picked up a season-opening win at home, beating the sixth-ranked (1A) Pekin boys by 23 points at the Reservoir course on Tuesday. The Panthers girls, ranked seventh in 1A, would edge Twin Cedars by 10 points matching the Albia boys by scoring 44 points to win a team championship in Monroe County.

“It’s good to get the first meet and our home meet behind us,” Albia head cross-country coach Todd Ratliff said. “We had some nice surprises. The way we finished individually on our team is not how I would have predicted. There were some great moves by some runners as well as solid performances from our top-10 runners.”

Three runners for the Pekin girls finished in the top 10, led by a fourth-place finish from Lilly Farris in a time of 22:34. Right behind Farris, Lauren Derscheid came home in fifth place in 22:47 while Sarah Eubanks crossed the finish line in 10th, finishing the race in 23:19.

Sheryl Mae Rowe led the Albia girls to a third-place finish with 82 points, finishing sixth for the Lady Dees in 22:59. Faith Neeley recorded a top-10 run for the Van Buren girls, finishing seventh in 23:17.

Despite finishing second as a team with 67 points, the Pekin boys had the top two runners at Albia with Colten Glosser securing his second win of the season in a time of 17:02. Brady Millikin finishing in 17:40 for the Panthers, edging Emory Sage of Melcher-Dallas by six seconds for second place.

Albia had the next three runners cross the finish line with Brock Ratliff (fourth in 18:08), Landon Noe (fifth in 18:28) and Dawson Bonnett (sixth in 18:35) putting the Blue Demons in position to win the team title. Jonah Heckenberg of Van Buren finished seventh in 19:02, 10 seconds ahead of Pekin’s Zach Wise who placed eighth in the race for the Panthers. The Warriors as a team finished fourth with 108 points.

Chad Drury can be reached at cdrury@ottumwacourier.com

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