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Chickasaws finish strong in 3-0 sweep of Comets

Chickasaws finish strong in 3-0 sweep of Comets
Press photo by John Burbridge
Charles City’s Sadie Gebel, right, battles New Hampton’s Kiersten Tenge at the net during Tuesday’s Northeast Iowa Conference volleyball match which the NH Chickasaws won.

By John Burbridge

CHARLES CITY — Here’s a sports factoid you can use or abuse.

In the hyper-speed ball sport Jai alai, left-handed play is not allowed. It’s a safety precaution because any opposite spin and movement from a ball launched from the curved hand-held “cesta” would make the sport more dangerous.

It was too bad for the Charles City Comets volleyball team that they couldn’t outlaw New Hampton senior southpaw Rachel Rinken as her wicked left-handed jump serve and resounding hits addled the Comets while helping the Chickasaws win in straight sets (25-8, 25-14, 25-20), in a Northeast Iowa Conference matchup Tuesday at Comet Gym.

For New Hampton, which is coming off a state appearance from last season where it reached as far as the quarterfinal round in the Class 3A bracket, the win kept its undefeated season intact as the Chickasaws are already 11-0 for the season.

The Comets fell to 3-2 after a 3-1 showing at a tournament they hosted on Aug. 30.

Charles City drew first blood in all three sets and led deep into the latter two only to have the Chickasaws finish strong with rallies on way to the sweep.

In the first set, New Hampton went on a 9-0 run while going up 19-7. Charles City senior Jennifer Martin stopped the run with hitting kill, but it was only a minor bump in the road as the Chickasaws scored the final 6 points of the set.

In the second set, the Comets took a 10-9 on a Sarah Mitchell to Danielle Stock kill, and later went up 13-12 when Mitchell assisted Rachel Chambers.
But a blocking kill by Laney Roberson gave New Hampton a 17-14 lead before four straight aces from Rinken capped the scoring.

Three aces from Mitchell mixed with a blocking kill by Stock gave the Comets a 4-0 lead in the third set, before a kill by Chambers made the score 7-2.

But after a sideout, Rinken got on another roll on the service line for yet another 9-0 run to give the Chickasaws an 11-7 lead.

A touch kill by Chambers and another ace by Mitchell helped put the Comets up 19-16 prompting a NH timeout.

A hitting kill by Rinken put New Hampton up 21-20 before a blocking kill by Rinken and Roberson ended the match.

Charles City will be back in action Thursday when it takes on Mason City and Clear Lake at Clear Lake.