By John Burbridge firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW HAMPTON — Sometimes you hear play-by-play baseball announcers describe a hard-hit foul ball … “It was never fair.”
Frequently a block attempt on New Hampton’s hard-hitting left-handed junior Rachel Rinken will not land in “fair” territory. Instead, it will bound back over the net out of bounds … or if it does land inbounds, it usually finds the floor on the defender’s side with still a lot of mustard on it despite a two-handed deflection.
When a double-team block attempt on one of Rinken’s hits landed out of bounds on her team’s side of the net, resulting in a point for New Hampton which hosted Charles City in an Northeast Iowa Conference match on Tuesday, it tied the second set at 23 apiece.
The Chickasaws won the first set, 25-17, but the Comets responded to take a 13-7 lead in second set. When New Hampton caught them with Rinken’s kill, it looked like it was lights out for Charles City.
But momentum in volleyball is a fickle thing, and the Comets managed to score the final two points to even the match.
However, Rinken and New Hampton senior Madeline Moorman didn’t stop hitting as the Chickasaws got into a killing rhythm the rest of the match while winning the next two sets 25-14 and 25-16 in order for the 3-1 victory.
For undefeated New Hampton, the win was already its 10th of the season.
Charles City fell to 2-3 overall.
Charles City took an 8-7 lead in the first set when Jennifer Martin assisted a kill by Sami Heyer. But New Hampton went on a 11-1 run capped by an ace by Ashlynn Tank to make the score 18-9 before winning the set, 25-17.
A hitting kill and a blocking kill by Danielle Stock helped Charles City go up 9-6 in the second set, before a left-handed kill by Martin gave the Comets their 13-7 lead.
Like they did in the third set, the Chickaswas took early control of the fourth. Several kills by Comet senior Jodie Sindlinger as well as a long rally won Charles City with the score at 24-16 and the New Hampton student section singing “Hey Hey Hey … Goodbye” represented several bumps in the road for the Chickasaws before they put the match away.
The Comets will host both Mason City and Clear Lake on Thursday.