DIKE-NEW HARTFORD 3, SUMNER-FREDERICKSBURG 0
CEDAR RAPIDS, Ia. — Briana Weber and Brooke Morgan combined to punch 27 kills and top-ranked Dike-New Hartford took a step toward a repeat state title with a 25-15, 25-7, 25-17 win.
Dike-New Hartford improved to 43-0 since winning last year’s 2-A crown.
Sumner-Fredericksburg (24-7) was led by Kelly Frisch’s five kills.
COUNCIL BLUFFS ST. ALBERT 3, WEST BRANCH 2
CEDAR RAPIDS, Ia. — Kylie Ferguson smashed the match-winning kill to lift St. Albert to a five-set, 27-25, 21-25, 25-20, 18-25, 15-13 victory.
West Branch (36-5) led 5-0 to start the final set before St. Albert (29-10) rallied.
— John Naughton
WESTERN CHRISTIAN (HULL) 3, TREYNOR 0
CEDAR RAPIDS, Ia. — Western Christian of Hull putting together a focused and efficient effort in the Class 2-A quarterfinals is becoming a tradition.
The Wolfpack (42-3) swept through No. 7 Treynor, 25-15, 25-13 and 25-8 to earn their state-record 12th consecutive trip to the semifinals.
“We try to get the first game under our belt and then give it everything we have,” said Western Christian’s Haley Moss, a 6-foot-6-inch junior that posted a match-high 12 kills.
“We can play better than this. There are always things to work on.”
Western Christian’s swarm of attackers frustrated a Treynor (31-7) defense that would find their block turned into a smash two shots later.
All-state hitter Brooke Wolterstorff also posted 10 kills for the Wolfpack, and Jamie Gesink added 35 assists.
— Chris Cuellar
CARROLL KUEMPER 3, LAKE MILLS 1
CEDAR RAPIDS, Ia. — After a first set loss, third-ranked Carroll Kuemper adapted to the lights and noise of a packed Cedar Rapids Ice Arena to knock off previously unbeaten Lake Mills in Thursday’s Class 2-A quarterfinal.
The Knights (33-5) looked like yet another number in Lake Mills’ string of wins, but overpowering hitters and consistent play from the back row granted Kuemper a 20-25, 25-14, 25-22, 25-23 win.
“We came out really nervous, and our back row was especially tight and tense,” Kuemper coach Keith Stickrod said. “But they came out of it and you could see it in their facial expressions.”
No. 6 Lake Mills was able to roll through the first set without issue, forcing side outs and causing Kuemper errors.
The Knights flipped the switch during a run in the second set, hitting .324 to tie the score.
“I told myself I wouldn’t be nervous at all because we were here last year, but the first game actually playing and seeing the crowd all around you does it,” Naberhaus said.
“Once I started cooling down everybody looked to me and started playing their game.”
Four players had more than 10 kills for the Knights, with senior Brandi Bueltel leading the pack with 15. Naberhaus was the distributor and was credited with 53 assists.
With Kuemper hitters in full force, Lake Mills (43-1) was left with more inconsistencies than it had faced all season.
“We are always really passionate, but it started going down a little bit and Kuemper was playing amazing,” said Lake Mills senior Emily Kingland. “We’d get a few good blocks or hits and then we’d level off again. We were getting pretty frustrated.”
The Bulldogs were one of three teams to arrive to the state tournament undefeated, and have won 102 straight regular season games.
However, the competition hasn’t stacked up and those victories have come with just one tournament win in the past two seasons.
“I think they were the best front row players that I’ve seen,” Kingland said.
All five of Kuemper’s losses this season came to teams playing in Cedar Rapids this week. Lake Mills didn’t face a state qualifier all season.
“We knew they were going to be tough, but our goal was to get here and win by playing our game,” Naberhaus said.
The Knights take on No. 2 Western Christian of Hull (42-3) in the 2-A semifinals at 5:15 p.m. today.
— Chris Cuellar