Prep Volleyball

'Quiet hero' Camryn Ellyson helps lead Mount Vernon volleyball to 9-0 start

Class 3A top-ranked Mustangs sweep their way to a pool title at home tournament

MOUNT VERNON — A “quiet hero” is making some noise of her own this season for the Mount Vernon High School volleyball team.

“The reality is that our (outside) hitters get the most attention,” Mustangs Coach Maggie Willems said. “But Camryn (Ellyson) ... she’s our quiet hero. She has a wicked-fast arm swing.”

And a wicked-high kill efficiency.

A senior middle hitter, Ellyson brought a gaudy .510 hitting efficiency into Saturday’s Shirley Ryan Invitational. And she played a major role as the Class 3A top-rated Mustangs won all four of their matches to improve to 9-0.

“It’s going to be a lot like last year; Lauren (Schrock) and Natalie (Welch) are our big hitters,” Ellyson said.

Ellyson actually was second on the team in kills last season, when the Mustangs captured the 3A state championship. And she’s right there with Schrock and Welch in the early stages of this season.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this tournament was formatted differently this year, with three pools — in three different buildings — of five teams apiece and no bracket play. The Mustangs swept their way through the Joy Jordan Pool, capping it with a 21-17, 21-16 victory over Waverly-Shell Rock.

Mount Vernon was going to be a salty outfit again anyway, with six starters back from its title team. The addition of University of Iowa recruit Sydney Dennis makes it even stronger.

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Dennis open-enrolled from North Cedar to Mount Vernon last winter and makes the 20-mile drive from Clarence each day. Likely a defensive player in college, she serves as the Mustangs’ setter this fall.

“I love it here,” she said. “Everybody has been so welcoming. I just want to do what I can to help.”

“She fits in really well,” Willems said. “She’s light-hearted, but completely driven. We wanted her to be on the floor for all six rotations.”

The Mustangs’ chemistry seems solid.

“We were in Willems’ (classroom) between matches, making TikToks,” Ellyson said.

Despite the absence of all-stater Meredith Bahl (right wrist), Class 4A No. 2 Western Dubuque won all four of its matches in the Ali Stark Pool, improving to 8-2.

“The fact that she’s out can’t define us,” Bobcats Coach Megan Scherrman said. “The rest of the team did a good job stepping up. If we can do this without her, it should inspire us to know what we can be when she comes back.”

Dike-New Hartford was the champion of the Shelby Kintzel Pool.

SHIRLEY RYAN INVITATIONAL VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT

At Mount Vernon

Joy Jordan Pool

Teams — 1. Mount Vernon 4-0, 2. Waverly-Shell Rock 2-2, 3. Des Moines Christian 2-2, 4. Iowa City West 2-2, 5. Tipton 0-4.

Des Moines Christian def. Tipton, 21-17, 21-4

Des Moines Christian def. Waverly-Shell Rock, 21-19, 19-21, 15-11

Iowa City West def. Tipton, 21-7, 21-8

Iowa City West def. Des Moines Christian, 21-15, 17-21, 15-13

Mount Vernon def. Tipton, 21-2, 21-5

Mount Vernon def. Iowa City West, 21-18, 21-11

Mount Vernon def. Des Moines Christian, 21-18, 21-8

Mount Vernon def. Waverly-Shell Rock, 21-17, 21-16

Waverly-Shell Rock def. Iowa City West, 21-19, 21-19

Waverly-Shell Rock def. Tipton, 21-7, 21-6

Shelby Kintzel Pool

Teams — 1. Dike-New Hartford 4-0, 2. Nevada 3-1, 3. Dyersville Beckman 2-2, 4. Ottumwa 1-3, 5. North Cedar 0-4.

Dike-New Hartford def. Ottumwa, 14-21, 21-10, 15-5

Dike-New Hartford def. North Cedar, 21-9, 21-6

Dike-New Hartford def. Dyersville Beckman, 21-10, 21-6

Dike-New Hartford def. Nevada, 21-7, 21-18

Dyersville Beckman def. North Cedar, 21-16, 21-13

Dyersville Beckman def. Ottumwa, 21-14, 21-13

Nevada def. Dyersville Beckman, 15-21, 21-17, 16-14

Nevada def. Ottumwa, 21-13, 14-21, 15-11

Nevada def. North Cedar, 21-8, 21-13

Ottumwa def. North Cedar, 21-14, 21-10

Ali Stark Pool

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Teams — 1. Western Dubuque 4-0, 2. Waterloo Columbus 3-1, 3. Grundy Center 1-3, 4. Center Point-Urbana 1-3, 5. Dubuque Wahlert 1-3.

Center Point-Urbana def. Dubuque Wahlert, 21-15, 21-17

Dubuque Wahlert def. Grundy Center, 19-21, 21-18, 15-6

Grundy Center def. Center Point-Urbana, 21-14, 21-15

Waterloo Columbus def. Dubuque Wahlert, 21-15, 21-15

Waterloo Columbus def. Center Point-Urbana, 21-11, 21-19

Waterloo Columbus def. Grundy Center, 21-17, 25-23

Western Dubuque def. Center Point-Urbana, 21-14, 21-12

Western Dubuque def. Waterloo Columbus, 19-21, 21-13, 16-14

Western Dubuque def. Grundy Center, 23-25, 21-15, 15-12

Western Dubuque def. Dubuque Wahlert, 21-14, 21-6

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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