CIML volleyball: Ankeny bests Dowling in immediate rematch

CIML volleyball: Ankeny bests Dowling in immediate rematch

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CIML volleyball: Ankeny bests Dowling in immediate rematch

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Dowling Catholic volleyball coach Mary Beth Wiskus blasted a text message to her players on Saturday after a big win: We just beat Ankeny.
On Tuesday, Ankeny shared the post-match celebration.
The second-ranked Hawkettes topped No. 4 Dowling 25-21, 24-26, 25-17, 25-20 at Dowling’s gym before a crowd of more than 500.
Dowling, which lost for the first time this season after a school-best 11-0 start, beat Ankeny 2-1 in a tournament at Valley on Saturday.
Ankeny’s players studied film to learn from the loss.
“We know where we needed to hit,” all-state libero Claire Wandrey said. “It was awesome to beat ’em.”
The Hawkettes (7-1) ramped up the offense in the rematch. Jaali Winters smashed 16 kills. Megan Ballenger and Moriah Johnson both added 11.
The video review session gave a boost to Johnson, a sophomore middle hitter who switched to the right side against Dowling.
“It helped me find my block,” Johnson said. “It’s good, so you know what’s coming.”
Ballenger and Molly Wiedemier both snapped four aces.
“Saturday, we played a lot more aggressive,” Wiskus said.
Wandrey led Ankeny’s defense with 11 digs. Kayla Aronow had nine.
Elise Brown smacked nine kills for Dowling. Jessi Henter led her team with 22 assists. Annie Buscher had a match-best 21 digs.
Ankeny pulled away from a 6-all tie to win the opening set 25-21.
Ballenger had two aces during a six-point run in the second set. Dowling scored the final two points, the last on a kill by Melissa DeRocher, to win 26-24.
Ankeny finished the third set with a 9-3 run to win 25-17. The Hawkettes closed the match with a 25-20 fourth set. Winters had back-to-back kills during a 10-4 stretch to complete the set.
Dowling has produced what may be its strongest team.
“I think it’s a total program effort,” Wiskus said. “It started with the first group of seniors when I started coaching here four years ago. Every year, those seniors raise the bar a little bit.”
Ankeny coach Dave Whims said his team has improved as young players have gained experience. Winters, Ballenger and Johnson are sophomores.
He also said Dowling is an improved program. The team fell to Cedar Falls in a Class 4-A regional final last season, one win short of the state tournament.
“They play good, fundamentally sound volleyball,” Whims said. “Their coach has done a good job. They’re a program on the upswing.”

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CIML volleyball: Ankeny bests Dowling in immediate rematch
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