It’s been a weird season, with at least two area teams spending time on the COVID-19 sidelines this past season.
But everyone’s made it to the post-season, and the party begins this coming week.
Four area Iowa Class 1A volleyball teams kick off their post-season teams Monday night, hoping for a spot at the state volleyball tournament coming up in a couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, area Class 2A teams – ACGC and AHSTW – both wait until Wednesday, Oct. 21, to begin their post-season treks.
A year ago, ACGC was a regional semifinalist in Class 2A. Riverside made it to the Class 1A regional final before falling. This year, one of those teams – or maybe someone else(s) – hope to break down the door and send a team to state.
The state tournament is Nov. 2-5 at the U.S. Cellular Center, Cedar Rapids.
Here’s what to expect
Audubon (3-11) at Coon Rapids-Bayard (15-3):
- A season-long losing streak came to an end in the opening round of the Western Iowa Conference meet with a win over IKM-Manning; the Wheelers since recorded two more wins. Jaci Christensen has a team-high 77 kills, whike Kali Irlmeier as 16 blocks and Mattie Nielsen 138 digs. Cassidy Baker has dished out 369 assists for the Crusaders. Alexa Culbertson has 120 kills and 21 blocks, both Crusader team highs. CR-B won the Rolling Valley Conference tournament over the weekend.
Exira-EHK (11-17) at Riverside (14-11):
- The Spartans have recorded 213 kills according to Iowa Varsity Bound, with Tatum Grubbs and Shay Burmeister leading with 80 and 61, respectively. Grubbs has recorded 104 of her team’s 419 kills. Serving is a concern for the Spartans with a 54.3% success rate. Kenna Ford has tallied 422 assists for the Lady Dawgs, while Izzy Bluml and Veronica Andrusyshyn have 136 and 134 kills, respectively, as a 1-2 punch at the net. The Lady Dawgs have 142 ace serves.
Griswold (10-12) at CAM (21-5):
- After a 10-22 season a year ago, the Cougars bounced back to a traditional Rolling Valley Conference title and runner-up finish at the conference tournament. Strong play at the net has helped the Cougars: 134 kills by Zoey Baylor with Mady McKee right behind with 130, and 41 blocks by Mallarie Peach and 31 by Mallory Behnken, this prior to the RVC tournament this past weekend. Strong serving has also helped, with a 92.9% success rate and 156 ace serves. Kalainee Teaney leads the Tigers with 131 kills and 24 blocks, while Lydia Greiman has 335 assists. The Tigers have four players with more than 100 digs, with Anna Kelley leading with 181. Coach Jody Rossell’s team also has strong serving, with 91.3% serving and 131 aces.
AHSTW (6-12) at Treynor (14-7):
- The Lady Vikes are in the midst of rebuilding after graduating two of their record-setters in blocks and assists. They do still have a potent weapon in Ally Myers, who reached 1,000 career assists, 316 coming this past season (prior to this weekend’s last regular season tournament in Council Bluffs). Natalie Hagadon has the most kills with 108, while dual-sport athlete Kailey Jones – she’s also in cross country – has a team-best 20 blocks. Treynor – who beat the Lady Vikes in three sets this season – has a pair of strong weapons at the net, with Madeline Lewis (201 kills, 20 blocks) and Natalie Simpson (37 blocks, 84 kills); Kailey Rochholz adds 159 kills to the Cardinal cause. Serving is strong for the Cardinals, with 91.6% success rate and 145 aces.
Earlham (9-13) at ACGC (16-5): The Chargers, runners-up in the West Central Activities Conference, swept the Cardinals rather convincingly in regular-season action, although this is the post-season. Chloe Largent is 10th in Class 2A in kills with 280; her 42.1% efficiency rate is fourth best statewide, regardless of class. Alaina Bunde’s 73 blocks is eighth-best in Class 2A, 22nd statewide. Audrey Stowe has 478 assists. Earlham’s primary offensive weapon is Riley Doud with 166 kills; defensively, it’s either Kara Hohert or Macy Reynolds, who have 20 and 12 blocks, respectively.