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Trojans fall to Grinnell in season opener

August 30, 2018
By Allison Graham - Sports Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

By Allison Graham

Inside Iowa Today

Article Photos

Kaitlyn Campbell (center) sets it up for Madison Rohach (right) on the Thursday, August 23 season opener with Grinnell. The Tigers won 3-1.
Inside Iowa Photo/Allison Graham

The STC Trojans started their season with their annual opening cross-county rivalry against the Grinnell Tigers. The Trojans hosted the Tigers on Thursday, August 23 at the Roundhouse.

Starting for the Trojans were Madison Rohach, Katie Campbell, Jaelin Berger, Mackenzie Beyer, Cora Van De Walle and Ashlynn Ellenbecker (libero).

The Trojans fell to Grinnell in four sets with the Tigers winning the first two, 25-20 and 25-17, and the fourth set 25-23. South Tama held on to ensure a fourth set after winning the third set 25-14.

Fact Box

STC Stats


Rohach 15-28, Slaven 10-21, Upah 5-13, Berger 2-2, Campbell 3-5, Johnson 1-4, Van De Walle 0-2, Ellenbecker 0-4


Campbell 22, Ellenbecker 1, Johnson 1


Campbell 9, Rohach 8, Beyer 8, Ellenbecker 7, Rosenberger 7, Upah 2, Johnson 1, Slaven 1

Block Assists

Berger 3, Johnson 2, Rohach 2, Slaven 1

Block Solo

Rohach 1


Rosenberger 20-21, Ellenbecker 18-20, Campbell 10-11, Beyer 11-13, Rohach 11-13, Slaven 6-7


Ellenbecker 3, Rohach 3, Beyer 1, Campbell 1

Before the competition started, the Trojan team had an unexpected change of plans. Team captain, Katie Riha suffered an injury during warm ups which took her out of the lineup for the rest of the night.

"It threw things off a little bit because Katie was part of our starting lineup," said Head Coach Amy Dolash. "Part of the good problem I have is that I've got a lot of options. More of the concern was wondering if she was okay and getting over that shock of your teammate being down and out. Clarissa (Rosenberger) stepped in and did just fine."

Rosenberger was 20-21 for serves on the night. Leading the Trojans defensively was Madison Rohach with 15 of 28 kills. Kaitlyn Campbell had 22 assists.

While STC does enter the season with some individual experience on their side, they will be working throughout the season to build up experience as a unit. Looking at Grinnell's lineup they entered the season with a handful of seniors including Lexi Hart, Megan Doty, Macy Harris and Kiana Kies who saw lots of varsity minutes as juniors.

During the first couple of sets the Trojans seemed to be trying to find a good rhythm. Unfortunately it took until the third set for the rhythm to fully set it.

"Everything kind of started clicking," said Dolash. "A lot of things we were trying in game one and game two just were our errors. But they were all things (the team) has been working on and we've been trying to make sure that they connect. And they will start connecting. I encourage that aggressiveness. They've got to be willing to put it out there."

According to Dolash it was primarily the Trojans' offense that improved.

"Our serve-receive was doing pretty good and on defense we started getting a couple more things on them. We were anticipating their big hitter better and getting more touches on the block," she said.

The annual matchup between the Trojans and the Tigers has gone the way of Grinnell for the past four years. The last time the Trojans saw a win over Grinnell was in 2014 when they topped the Tigers in three sets.

Despite the loss there were positive takeaways for the coaching staff.

"Some of the things we were telling the girls is that it was super positive. The attitudes were awesome. They never got down. Even when we got in a rut; for example in the second game where there was a little bigger spread on the points I don't feel they ever panicked. Now, learning how to play to win is all about our mental toughness and working through those things," said Dolash.

South Tama will be on the road to Center Point-Urbana on Tuesday, September 4.



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