The Laurens-Marathon volleyball team made the most of its home-court advantage here Saturday, winning it's own Charger Invitational tournament.
The Chargers, paced by hitters Jacqulyn Schmidt and Kristi Brechler and setter MacKenzie Bell, beat Clay Central Everly 21-10, 20-22 and 15-10 in the championship game.
The Chargers won Pool A with a 5-2 record in games and a 2-1 record in matches. Two other teams - Clay Central-Everly and Sioux Central - finished with 2-1 match records in the pool but CC-E was 4-2 in games and Sioux Central 4-3 in pool games.
Laurens-Marathon moved onto the championship semis, where it dispatched Pocahontas Area 21-16, 21-19.
Newell-Fonda won the Pool B competition, going 3-0 in matches and 6-1 in games. The Lady Mustangs lost to Clay Central-Everly 21-14, 21-16 in the championship semifinals and lost to Pocahontas Area 21-18, 14-21 and 15-6 in the game for third place.
Sioux Central, which edged Laurens-Marathon in pool play earlier in the day, beat Storm Lake-St. Mary's in the consolation semis and took fifth place with a win over West Bend Mallard.
Storm Lake-St. Mary's went 0-3 in matches in pool play and lost 21-17, 21-9 in the consolation semis to Sioux Central and did not place.
Meanwhile, Laurens-Marathon and Clay Central-Everly played a hard fought championship match.
The Chargers cruised in game one, winning 21-10, but CC-E stormed back with a 22-20 win in game two. L-M beat CC-E 15-10 in the game for the tourney title.
In that championship match, Brechler led the way with 14 kills while six-footer Amy Salton added nine. Schmidt and Kelsey Meyer had five kills each.
Schmidt was a strong defensive force, coming up with a match-high 13 digs. She added four blocks and was eight of eight at the service line with an ace. Bell and Laura Bieri each finished with nine set assists.
In the semifinal win over tough Pocahontas Area, Brechler led the attack again with 11 kills with Schmidt adding six and Salton four.
Schmidt was 15 of 15 in spike attempts and led the Charger defense with eight digs. Brechler was especially deadly at the net; 11 of her 14 hits went for kills.
Bell made good on 24 of 26 sets and finished with eight set assists. Bieri was 19 of 21 in setting with six set assists. Meyer was tough at the service line, where she made good on 13 of 14 serves.
Meanwhile, Sioux Central, one of the favorites in the Northwest Conference, opened pool play with a 21-13, 21-11 win over Twin River Valley, following that up with a riveting 22-20, 22-24, 15-9 win over eventual champion Laurens-Marathon.
The Lady Rebels lost to CC-E in their pool finale, losing 21-7, 21-9. Sioux Central played well the rest of the way, shutting out Storm Lake-St. Mary's 21-17, 21-9 in the consolation semis and edging West Bend Mallard 21-11, 22-24 and 16-14 in the match for fifth place. All told, the Rebels went 4-1 in matches on the day.
"We had a few games where we were up and down but managed to pull out with wins," said Sioux Central volleyball coach Sue Mattson. "Our serve receive was better than it has been. We just have to always remember to hit hard and talk."
Six-foot junior hitter Stef Madsen finished with 33 kills Saturday on 50 of 58 hitting. Beth Ehlers was 29 of 37 in hitting with 17 kills while Briana Scharn was 19 of 22 with ten kills.
Scharn, just a sophomore, had a nice day setting, finishing with 43 set assists. Samantha Halverson added 27 set assists while Madsen finished with 13 blocks and 17 digs.
Nicole Scheiber added 17 digs while Mollie McCabe and Scharn each finished with 12 digs on the day.
Jen Haraldson had a stellar day at the service line. She made good on 50 of 52 serves with nine aces. McCabe hit 34 of 35 serves with eight aces and Bryn Anderson was 12 of 13 in serving with three aces.
"It was a long day," said Mattson. "But we did some good things, and overall, I was pleased with the way we played. We have to always remember to play at our level.
Newell-Fonda, meanwhile, opened pool play with a 21-18, 21-14 win over Storm Lake-St. Mary's. The Mustangs continued with a 21-18, 20-22 and 15-12 win over West Bend Mallard before impressively sweeping Pocahontas Area 21-17 and 21-13 to win Pool B.
Newell-Fonda lost to Clay Central Everly 21-10, 20-22, and 15-10 in a tight semi match, then lost to Pocahontas Area 21-18, 14-21 and 15-6 in the match for third place.
According to coach Craig Davis, the Newell-Fonda offense was led by middle hitters Jennifer Schumann and Andrea Larsen. Schumann finished with 33 kills, six solo blocks and three assist blocks while Larsen added 28 kills, three solo blocks, 31 digs, eight set assists and 22 of 23 serving.
Setter Destiny Sievers was nearly perfect at the service line, hitting on 50 of 51 serves on the day with nine aces and 53 set assists. Kristen Culp added 12 kills, 24 digs and four ace serves while Tiffany Parker finished with eight kills, five assist blocks, 11 digs and 21 of 22 serving.
Also for the Lady Mustangs, Hanna Reis had 23 digs and six kills, Kalee Kier 24 digs and 10 of 10 serving while Tanya Brown added ten digs.
Newell-Fonda enters this week's action 6-3 in matches and 17-10 in games.