Wolverines one win from state
East Mills picked up the most crucial of “rubber match” victories over Stanton in the Class 1A, Region 3 semifinals Monday after splitting a pair of regular season tilts with the Viqueens.
The Wolverines knocked down 58 kills and dug out of a 2-1 set hole to end No. 7 ranked Stanton’s season with a 25-10, 22-25, 23-25, 25-22, 15-9 in Stanton.
“I knew this was going to be a tight battle,” said East Mills coach Connie Viner. “We just had to stay aggressive on our offense.”
And aggressive the Wolverines were.
They were dominant in the first set, knocking down 14 kills in a commanding 25-10 victory. But Stanton rebounded to win both the second and third sets.
“I think they stepped it up and we made some errors we didn’t in the first (set) and we got in a hole,” Viner said.
In between the third and fourth sets, Viner pulled no punches with her team on how they would have to dig out of that hole.
“I told them to stay up, to stay aggressive on offense and you can’t be tipping all the time, you have to make them defense and put them on their heels,” Viner said. “We needed to come out swinging and not let anything hit the floor. We needed to talk more. We had balls hit the floor for no reason because we couldn’t hear. That’s what these games are about. They’re loud. We have to figure out a way to get around that.”
Viners’ squad never trailed in set four and led by as many as six. In the deciding set, they built a quick 5-1 lead that grew to 11-6. A kill and then an ace by Ryleigh Brodigan set up game point the Wolverines won after a lengthy rally.
Audrey Boban led the East Mills attack with 17 kills. Loycee Palmer added 16 kills, Brodigan 13 and Evelyn Stoakes 12. Setters Mia Goodman and Venna Sayers combined to dish up 56 assists.
With the win, East Mills advances to Wednesday night’s regional championship against Council Bluffs St. Albert in Glenwood. The winner will advance to next week's state volleyball tournament. First serve is set for 7 p.m.