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Tigers capture first conference crown since 2006

Sam Martin/DCN Torrie Hook was 22-of-22 serving with six aces in A-D-M’s 3-0 win over Carroll on Tuesday.Buy Photo
Sam Martin/DCN Torrie Hook was 22-of-22 serving with six aces in A-D-M’s 3-0 win over Carroll on Tuesday.
Sam Martin/DCN Allison Gottschalk recorded a team-high 14 kills as A-D-M beat Carroll on Tuesday, clinching the Tigers’ first conference title since 2006.Buy Photo
Sam Martin/DCN Allison Gottschalk recorded a team-high 14 kills as A-D-M beat Carroll on Tuesday, clinching the Tigers’ first conference title since 2006.

A-D-M laid claim to the school’s first volleyball conference championship since 2006 with a 3-0 victory over Carroll on Tuesday.

The 14th-ranked Tigers ran the tables in the Raccoon River Conference with a perfect 7-0 mark. The schedule saved the best for last: A-D-M powered past Bondurant-Farrar — the RRC’s second-place team — in a 3-2 nailbiter last week, giving the Tigers at least a share of the conference title, and A-D-M won the title outright with a 25-14, 26-24, 25-23 win over third-place Carroll.

“It has been a goal to achieve since the seniors were freshmen,” said coach Mary Beth Scott, referencing Torrie Hook, Allison Gottschalk, Maddie Powers and Haley Schepers, who were honored before the match and have helped A-D-M win 70 matches over the past three seasons. “In 2010 we finished sixth, in 2011 we were third, and 2012 we were second, so it was a big push to get the job done this year.

“We were very close last year, and I really think that helped make the drive to get first this year.”

A-D-M raced to a 9-0 start in set one before Carroll could counter and closed out the win with an 11-4 run. The Tigers then rallied for the final three points of set two, with kills from Gottschalk and Hook delivering the final blow.

Gottschalk finished with a team-high 14 kills and hit at a .333 clip. Schepers and Kari Dufoe each had four kills, while Hook and Abby Merschman had three.

Brennan Hook had 14 assists and five of the team’s 14 blocks. Merschman added four blocks.

The Tigers had one of their strongest nights of serving with a 94.7 percent success rate (71-of-75) and six aces. Five of those came from Torrie Hook, who was a perfect 22-of-22 serving on the night. Maddie Powers led the defense with 23 digs.

“We like to throw the word tenacious out, and that is how we define our offense and defense,” said Scott, whose team improved to 23-12 overall . “The girls have done a great job communicating, working hard and just playing as a team throughout the season.”

A-D-M will square off in a Class 4A Region 4 quarterfinal against Grinnell on Oct. 28 in Adel. A-D-M recorded a 21-14, 21-13 victory in the teams’ only meeting this season, which came on Oct. 19 in Knoxville. The winner will advance to face No. 14 Newton on Oct. 31. The finale, and a potential matchup with No. 6 Waverly-Shell Rock, is set for Nov. 5 in Grundy Center.

The Tigers went 4-1 to win the Knoxville tournament, beating Pella Christian 26-24, 25-13 and Iowa Falls-Alden, 25-21, 25-9 in the championship round. In addition to the Grinnell victory, they also beat Perry in pool play, 21-10, 21-9, and lost to Pella Christian, 21-16, 20-22, 13-15.

Torrie Hook had 40 kills on the day to pace the Tigers. Abby Merschman had 27, Maddie Mikkelsen had 17 and Schepers finished with 14 kills and seven aces.

Brennan Hook had 61 assists, Marissa Felt finished with 30 assists and seven aces, Dufoe had six aces and Powers recorded 43 digs.

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