REINBECK - The beat goes on, even if Grundy Center coach Darwin Sents' heart skipped one.
The Class 2A No. 6-ranked Spartans ran their NICL West Division wins streak to 30 straight matches and 79 consecutive sets despite a surge from Gladbrook-Reinbeck late in the third set of Tuesday's conference pairing.
The Spartans still swept the Rebels, 25-16, 25-17, 26-24, but the third game was a little close for Sents' comfort.
"We kind of struggled to put that one away and G-R made it close," said Sents. "Thankfully we were able to pull that one out."
Grundy Center (17-4, 4-0) played without one of its leading hitters due to an injury, but it wasn't enough to give Gladbrook-Reinbeck an edge as the Rebels (6-14, 2-3) suffered their fifth straight defeat after a winless weekend trip to the Boone Invitational.
Katie Lindeman led the way for Grundy Center on this night, knocking down 10 kills. Alyssa Mathews totaled eight kills, 16 digs and 10 assists, while Kennedy Buss tallied six kills and three total blocks.
Peyton Ralston finished with 15 assists and was Grundy Center's leading server, going 19-for-20 with three aces. Noel Saak and Piper Johanns both served 15-for-15, including three aces for Saak, and Riley Sents was 12-for-14 with three aces. Sents also led the defense with 39 digs, while Brittany VanSickle contributed seven digs and Hana Edgerton had one block.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck was led by Britney Keller's eight kills, while Ellie Stoakes had six and Shelton Hatch four. Jenny Schildroth totaled 20 assists and eight digs, while Alyssa Christopher had 11 digs and Hayley Weber added nine.
Bailea Evenson served 13-for-13 with two aces to lead the Rebels, while Hatch and Keller combined for G-R's only block.
Both teams return to the court Saturday at the Waverly-Shell Rock Tournament, both lining up in the same pool as Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Class 3A No. 6 Nevada, and the 4A No. 3-ranked host Go-Hawks. In the other pool will be 3A No. 4 Union Community, 3A No. 7 Mount Vernon, Crestwood, Dyersville Beckman and Mason City.