In the recent history of Nashua-Plainfield volleyball, there hasn’t been a bigger win than the one posted by the Huskies Tuesday night.
Nashua-Plainfield’s 17-25, 25-23, 18-25, 25-16, 15-10 victory over St. Ansgar assured the Huskies of a second-place finish in Corn Bowl Conference play.
“It was a battle, but I feel like this is kind of the turning point for our program,” said Nashua-Plainfield coach Jill Smith, whose team’s 12 wins this year exceeds its combined victory total from the past four seasons.
The Huskies, who are 12-12 overall, finished the Corn Bowl Conference portion of its schedule at 5-2. North Butler won the league with a 7-0 mark while West Fork and St. Ansgar are both 4-2 with one more league match remaining.
After Nashua-Plainfield dropped two of the first three sets Tuesday, Smith challenged her players.
“We were playing not to lose,” she said, “and that’s not how you win volleyball matches against good teams.”
In the fourth set, the Huskies jumped out to a 10-1 lead and rolled to a victory that forced a fifth and deciding set.
Tied at 7-7, the Huskies closed out the match with an 8-3 run.
Hannah Holthaus led the way with a monster match — recording 19 kills, making 21 digs and serving 19-of-20 with three aces.
Holthaus. along with Amber Carter and Kennedy Haut, had attended an athletic leadership conference earlier in the day in Iowa City.
“Hannah talked to our team about one of the speakers saying it’s important to have no regrets when you do compete,” Smith said, “and she played like that. She left it all out there. It was an unbelievable performance.”
But she was far from the only star on this night.
Dallas Weiss added 17 kills, Aubry Bienemann had 31 assists and Haut recorded five service aces.
And Nashua-Plainfield’s defense was stellar as, in addition to Holthaus’ 21 digs, Carter had 17, Samantha Hyde had 16 and Bienemann and Weiss added 14 apiece.
“We were digging to say the least,” Smith said. “Every girl on our team deserves credit for this turnaround. They know the season’s not over and knowing these girls, they’ll keep working at it, but this is a huge win for us.”