GOOSE LAKE — Facing off against five squads with at least 13 victories, there was no shortage of competition for the Northeast and Calamus-Wheatland volleyball teams at Saturday’s Northeast Invitational.
Competing in different pools and on the opposite sides of bracket play, the Rebels and Warriors never met each other.
Cal-Wheat, though, used a victory over Bellevue to propel itself to a sixth-place finish at the tournament, while the hosting Rebels took eighth.
Just three of the 12 pool matches at the tournament went the full three sets and Northeast was involved in two of them.
The Rebels opened their day with a match against Prince of Peace.
The Irish struck first, taking the opening set, 21-13, but Northeast answered back in the second set, holding off Prince of Peace, 21-8, to set up a third game to 15.
The two teams traded points early, but it was all Irish late, reeling off a late run to claim the match with a 15-7 victory.
The Rebels did not have long to dwell on the result as they faced Bellevue for their second pool match.
Again, Northeast found itself on the wrong end of the first set, but the Rebels rebounded, winning a tight second game — 21-19 — to set up another third set.
The third set was close, too, but it was the Comets who were able to get the 15 points they needed (15-12) to win the match.
Maquoketa, the pool one champion and eventual runner-up, took both sets against the Rebels in their pool finale.
With an 0-3 mark, Northeast had the unenviable task of opening bracket play against the champion of pool two — Davenport Assumption, the top-ranked team in Class 3A.
The Knights lived up to their billing, too, knocking off the Rebels in two games en route to the overall championship (Assumption did not lose a single set in six matches).
The setback to Assumption set up a pair of rematches for the Rebels, who faced Prince of Peace and Bellevue again in the consolation portion of the bracket.
And just like their first meeting, the Rebels and Comets went the distance again. This time, Northeast took the first set (21-18), but Bellevue rebounded to take the next two to win the match (Prince of Peace knocked off the Rebels in two sets in their rematch).
The Warriors opened pool play with a two-game setback to Camanche before facing Assumption in their second match.
Cal-Wheat, though, stayed closed with the top-ranked Knights for large chunks of their match and gave Assumption two of its three closest sets during pool play in a 21-16, 21-15 defeat.
The Warriors, though, could not build on the momentum of their close sets and fell to Durant in their pool finale to finish 0-3.
Like the Rebels, that meant Cal-Wheat would face off against the other pool’s champion — in this case Maquoketa — in the first round of bracket play.
The Cardinals cruised in the first set between the two teams, but things tightened up considerably in the second set with the Warriors ultimately falling by three.
That sent Cal-Wheat to a consolation semifinal match with Bellevue, which had also fallen in the opening round of bracket play.
This time, the Warriors were on the right side of a pair of tight sets. Cal-Wheat took the opening game by five points and then broke through late in the second set to take down the Comets, 21-16, 22-20.
That moved Cal-Wheat to the fifth-place game against a familiar foe — Tri-Rivers East rival Prince of Peace.
The Irish struck first, winning a close 21-18 decision in the opening set.
The second game, however, was all Warriors as Cal-Wheat rolled to a 21-6 victory.
That set up a deciding third set, which — like the first set — was close.
In fact, the two teams went past the normal 15-point finishing point before Prince of Peace was finally able to finish off a 17-15 win to take the match and fifth.
The Warriors were after some quick revenge against the Irish after Prince of Peace won Thursday’s Tri-Rivers East matchup between the two squads.
The Irish put Cal-Wheat in an early hole, winning the first two sets, 25-11 and 25-18.
On the verge of being on the wrong end of a sweep, the Warriors surged back in the third set, extending the match with a 25-20 victory.
Cal-Wheat, though, could not come all the way back as the Irish rebounded to take the fourth set, 25-16 to finish the match.
Seniors Hannah Tack (eight) and Kaylie Wilhelm (six) combined for 14 of the Warriors’ 23 kills in the match, while Sammie Flagel, Taylor Jacobsen and Lauren Von Muenster all had two.
Flagel added 11 assists, 10 digs and five aces to complete a big night. Wilhelm paced the Warriors with 12 digs, while Jacobsen had eight to go with five assists of her own.
Tack led Cal-Wheat with two blocks and joined Alyssa McElmeel by serving up two aces.
The Warriors were two days removed from a marathon victory over Cedar Valley Christian.
Cal-Wheat put down 58 kills in the five-set match with Tack, Wilhelm and Flagel all reaching double-digits in the category.
Tack led the way with 17, while Wilhelm added 14 and led the Warriors with 20 digs.
Flagel had 10 kills and dished out 30 assists (Jacobsen had nine assists, while Alison Boeckmann had five and Tack four).
Senior Ellie Carpenter came up with 16 digs and Olivia Ganzer added 12, while Tack and Addy Widel both had three blocks.