Perfect blend

-Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Megan Askelsen of Clarion-Goldfield/Dows pass against St. Edmond on Thusday

Katrina TerHark has an interesting mix of players this year for her Clarion-Goldfield/Dows volleyball team.

But through the first half of the season, that blend of five seniors and five sophomores have come together perfectly for the 12th-ranked (Class 3A) Cowgirls.

Morgan Middleton recorded 23 kills and Jadyn Jondle had six aces as Clarion-Goldfield/Dows swept St. Edmond here Thursday night in North Central Conference action.

Scores were 25-18, 25-12 and 25-15.

“Our sophomores have really made big improvements from the start of the season to where they are at now,” TerHark said. “To be playing a varsity conference match, in a tough conference, and to keep their focus on the road, I couldn’t be any more proud of them.”

Middleton had nine kills as part of a 13-kill performance by the Cowgirls (12-4 overall, 3-0 in NCC) in the opening set. The 6-foot sophomore leads the team in kills and was just outside the Top-10 in 3A entering the night.

Emily Kapka, a senior, had six kills and Alaina Freisleben added four for Clarion-Goldfield/Dows, which has now won 11 consecutive matches vs. the Gaels (6-7, 1-2).

“Emily and Megan (Askelesen) have done a great job this year leading us as seniors,” TerHark said. “One of our girls was to serve aggressively and maybe we missed a few too many, but it was good to see them execute our plan.”

For St. Edmond, Devyn Scott and Josie Huss each had three kills, with Cambrie McBride and Chloe Lewison adding two each. Scott also had two blocks, with McBride, Oberg and Huss recording aces.

“I was really proud of the fight of the girls,” SEHS head coach Dee Huss said. “We switched some things up this week in practice and made some changes, and for the most part, we did really well (with those changes).”

All four losses for the Cowgirls this year are to teams ranked n the Top-7 in No. 1 (5A) Cedar Falls, seventh-ranked (4A) Waverly-Shell Rock, No. 5 (2A) Dike-New Hartford and third-ranked (3A) Osage. CG-D has recorded seven consecutive winning seasons and are now 20-6 over its last 26 matches played dating back to last year.

“Our passing was spot-on,” TerHark said. “That allowed our setter to get the ball to the hitters and they put it away.”

The Gaels return to action this Sunday at the CYO in LeMars. Ranked teams in attendance include No. 1 (3A) Carroll Kuemper, second-ranked (1A) LeMars Gehlen, No. 9 (4A) Sioux City Heelan and 14th-rated (1A) Bishop Garrigan.

Clarion-Goldfield/Dows will compete in a tournament in Forest City on Saturday.

St. Edmond won the junior varsity match (16-21, 21-10, 15-6), with the Cowgirls claiming the freshman contest (21-14, 17-21, 15-13).

“We play in a tough conference and have several ranked teams on our schedule this year,” Huss said. “But playing good competition will only make us better. I’m really proud of the depth we’ve developed and the direction we are heading in.”