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Prep volleyball: Fourth-ranked Rockets take consolation final at West Branch

Aug. 29—WEST BRANCH — Back on the court for the first time since competing in the Iowa Girls High School State Volleyball Tournament, fourth-ranked (2A) Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont made the trip back to eastern Iowa to test themselves against several top teams at West Branch.

The Rockets bounced back from three losses in pool play, including two losses decided in decisive third sets, to win the consolation finals on Saturday. EBF avenged a 22-20, 19-21, 15-11 pool-play loss to Davenport North winning 25-19 and 25-17 after earning a 25-14, 25-16 win over Winfield-Mount Union in the consolation bracket semifinals.

"It's a new season with high expectations," EBF head volleyball coach Gladys Genskow said. "We haven't started the season as we have hoped, but we are learning our strengths and weaknesses. The team has been working hard at practices and the hunger to compete is there."

EBF fell in their opening two matches at West Branch, dropping a 21-11, 17-21, 15-7 match against Marion and a 23-21, 21-14 battle with Iowa City Regina. Molly Shafer led the Rockets with 61 kills on Saturday, missing on just 12 of 126 total attacks at the net while picking up a team-leading 23 digs defensively.

Kate Shafer added five aces on 34-36 serving with four blocks. Lily Davis picked up 33 assists for the Rockets in the tournament.

"The competition was tough in our bracket. Our matches last Thursday (at Fairfield) were cancelled due to the heat, which didn't allow us to get that game experience before playing tough teams this weekend," Genskow said. "We got better as a team throughout the day, but unfortunately cost us some matches getting there. Our offense at times is unstoppable, but one of my goals for this year was to re-load and take care of the basics.

"Our passing and serving game was not at the level for success this weekend. Our communication level that broke down allowed for opportunities for our opponent. We will continue to work on figuring out what works best for our team and continue to improve."

After hosting Centerville in the South Central Conference opener for both teams on Parents' Night for the Rockets, No. 4 EBF (2-3) will be back in action on Tuesday, Sept. 5, at Cardinal.

PREP VOLLEYBALL

EBF Statistics at West Branch Tournament

Molly Shafer: 114/126 Attacks, 61 Kills, 31/35 Serving, 3 Aces, 23 Digs, 1 Block

Kate Shafer: 51/56 Attacks, 18 Kills, 71 Assists, 34/36 Serving, 5 Aces, 19 Digs, 4 Blocks

Aliya Wagamon: 39/50 Attacks, 21 Kills, 29/33 Serving, 4 Aces, 5 Digs

Lily Davis: 7/8 Attacks, 1 Kill, 33 Assists, 33/41 Serving, 2 Aces, 16 Digs

Kaylee Kelm: 4/6 Attacks, 1 Kill, 3 Assists, 34/36 Serving, 4 Aces, 22 Digs

Lacey Taylor: 16/21 Attacks, 3 Kills, 29/41 Serving, 4 Aces, 12 Digs

Zoey Nichols: 1/1 Serving

Hailey Boyer: 0/1 Serving