ATLANTIC – The best season in recent memory for Atlantic is about to hit the post-season.

The Trojans, fresh off an 11-19 regular season, hit double digit wins for just the second time since 2010; that was in 2017, when the Trojans went 16-22.

Four-year starter Alyssa Derby was part of the team, already establishing herself as a force at the net with 89 kills, while Haley Rasmussen was part of the team as well.

They, along with classmates Caroline Pellett, Mia Trotter and Maycie Waters, have formed the backbone of this year’s team and its rise from Hawkeye Ten Conference doormat to winning a Hawkeye Ten game for the first time since 2011 to a 4-6 league slate, strongly competitive with everyone in the league.

The Trojans won their first Hawkeye Ten match a year ago against Creston, and the four-victory season in one of Iowa’s best volleyball conferences has been exciting to see.

But, as they say, that’s only the start of something good, and the Trojans are hoping to carry their recent wave of success into the post-season.

Today, the Trojans open Class 3A regional volleyball action by hosting Clarinda, a team they beat in five sets on Sept. 15. The Cardinals went on to a 1-9 Hawkeye Ten record, 6-15 overall.

Game time is 7 p.m.

The winner will travel Wednesday, Oct. 21, to Red Oak to take on either the Tigers or Shenandoah. The regional final is Tuesday, Oct. 27, at a site to be determined; either Centerville, Chariton, Clarke of Osceola or Knoxville awaits in the other half of the bracket.

The regional champion heads to Cedar Rapids and the U.S. Cellular Center for the state tournament, Nov. 2-5.

Season leaders for both teams have been:


  • Atlantic – Alyssa Derby 160, Abby Smith 110, Aubrey Guyer 94; Clarinda – Jessalee Neihart 140, Faith Espnosa 106.


  • Atlantic – Haley Rasmussen 365, Lexi Noelck 158; Clarinda – Teya Stickler 277.

Blocks (solo-assist):

  • Atlantic – Derby 32-18, Guyer 16-12; Clarinda – Esponosa 40-20, Skylar Kelley 7-18.

Digs: Atlantic – Mia Trotter 256, Caroline Pellett 155, Smith 153; Clarinda – Taylor Cole 342, Neihart 261.

Serving percent:

  • Atlantic – Maycie Waters 92.1% (209-227), Trotter 89% (145-163), Pellett 88.8% (239-269); Clarinda – Avery Walter 96.2% (101-105), Emmy Allbaugh 94.4% (185-196).

Ace serves: Atlantic – Rasmussen 33, Derby 18, Pellett 14; Clarinda – Stickler 31, Cole 21, Espinosa 20.

To reach Brian Rathjen, send correspondence to or phone (712) 243-2624.