High school volleyball: Previewing the CIML

High school volleyball: Previewing the CIML

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High school volleyball: Previewing the CIML

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Urbandale’s Kyla Inderski and Johnston’s Taylor Joens approached each other during pregame introductions with grins.
The volleyball stars reached out hands to shake, then pulled them back in a teasing way.
“We did it at the same time,” Inderski said. “It was like, ‘Oh, psych.’ ”
In the CIML, volleyball players can be friends off the court and intense foes across the net.
The season opens this week with another round of friendly rivalry.
The 19-team CIML — Ankeny Centennial joins this season — includes four teams that reached the Class 5-A state tournament last season. Ankeny, West Des Moines Dowling Catholic, Johnston and Urbandale all qualified.
The returning champs are Indianola in the Metro Conference, Marshalltown in the Northern Division, Ankeny in the Eastern Division and Dowling in the Western Division.
Five CIML schools grabbed 5-A top 10 spots in rankings released by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Monday. Johnston is No. 2, Urbandale No. 4, Dowling No. 6, West Des Moines Valley No. 7 and Ankeny No. 8. Indianola is No. 8 in 4-A.
That strong competition helps lead to close ties between high-level players.
Urbandale’s Inderski, a first-team all-state outside hitter, and Joens, a Register second-team all-CIML pick, struck up a close friendship by playing for the same volleyball club.
Shared practices and long van rides to out-of-town tournaments build relationships outside the boundaries of school teams. Social media like Facebook and Twitter keep them connected.
“I’ll see them Tweet, ‘Playing Urbandale tonight, going to kick their butt,’ ” Inderski said, “Yeah, you’re not.”
Inderski and Joens played together on the Central Iowa Select club team. So did Indianola’s Kaylee Smith, Ankeny’s Megan Ballenger and other CIML girls. The squad took third this past summer in a national tournament.
That isn’t the only club that brought players together as friends. Southeast Polk’s Mariah Rayhons and Waukee’s Morgan Potts, who toil for the Iowa Power Volleyball Alliance, are close, too.
“She’s my best friend, even though we go to different schools,” Rayhons said. “We’ve become really close through club.”
“We’ve kind of been inseparable, honestly,” Potts said. “She’s kind of my other half.”
The Ankeny split has led to friends who are foes, too.
New Centennial high features Jaali Winters, a second-team all-state outside hitter at Ankeny last year. Ballenger and two-time all-state libero Claire Wandrey remained at Ankeny after the school district borders were drawn.
The result is two good programs, Ankeny coach Dave Whims said.
“We’ve done a lot to get teams, both the north and south, ready for this,” Whims said. “I feel very confident with what direction both programs are heading. Both have a great opportunity to make it to state.”
Players from both schools remain close.
“Ankeny will be for Ankeny — except when Ankeny plays Ankeny,” Whims said, laughing.
Nine of 12 Register all-CIML players return from last season, including five of six Elite selections.
The level of talent has helped athletes like Illinois State-bound Rayhons develop skills while maintaining good relationships with fellow CIML players.
“I’ve been playing against them all four years of high school,” Rayhons said. “It’s almost like a thank you.”

AMES
DIVISION: Northern
COACH: Brad Bixby, fourth season, 71-45
LAST SEASON: 23-15, 2-1 Division
TOP PLAYERS: OH Bailee Jackson, Sr.; L Allye Bodholdt, Sr.; OH Emilee Brammer, So.; OH Emily Marrs, Sr.; MH Phaedra Lipsey, Jr.; MH Leah Smith, Jr.; S Bre Monroe, Sr.
OUTLOOK: Lots of returning talent, including seven players with starting experience. Bodholdt was a Des Moines Register second-team all-CIML selection. Jackson averaged 3.1 kills a set.
SCHEDULE: Aug. 26 Lincoln; Aug. 31 Ames Invitational; Sept. 3 Ankeny; Sept. 10 at Johnston; Sept. 24 Valley; Oct. 1 at Ankeny Centennial; Oct. 8 Mason City; Oct. 15 at Marshalltown; Oct. 22 Fort Dodge.
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ANKENY

DIVISION: Eastern
COACH: Dave Whims
LAST SEASON: 30-7, 2-0 Division
TOP PLAYERS: MH Megan Ballenger, Jr.; OH Moriah Johnson, Jr.; L Claire Wandrey, Sr.
OUTLOOK: Ballenger was a Des Moines Sunday Register first-team all-state selection. The Creighton recruit averaged 3.68 kills a set while leading her team to state. Wandrey is a two-time second-team all-stater.
SCHEDULE: Sept. 3 at Ames; Sept. 7 at Valley Invitational; Sept. 10 Dowling; Sept. 14 at Osage Invitational; Sept. 17 Ottumwa; Sept. 21 at Waukee Invitational; Sept. 24 Fort Dodge; Sept. 28 at Boone Invitational; Oct. 1 at Valley; Oct. 8 Southeast Polk; Oct. 12 at Bettendorf Invitational; Oct. 15 at Ankeny Centennial; Oct. 19 at C.B. Lewis Central Tournament; Oct. 22 Waukee.
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ANKENY CENTENNIAL

DIVISION: Eastern
COACH: Jessica Rinehart, first season
LAST SEASON: 0-0
TOP PLAYERS: OH Jaali Winters, Jr.; OH Katie Vinzant, Sr.; S McKenna Pierson, Jr.; L Kayla Aronow, Sr.
OUTLOOK: This is Centennial’s first season. Winters was a second-team all-stater at Ankeny a year ago. Aronow averaged 2.38 digs per set. Pierson had 3.65 assists a set last fall in a reserve role at Ankeny.
SCHEDULE: Aug. 31 at Ames Invitational; Sept. 3 at Urbandale; Sept. 7 at Iowa City High Invitational; Sept. 10 at Marshalltown; Sept. 14 at Southeast Polk Invitational; Sept. 17 at Indianola; Sept. 21 at Fort Dodge Invitational; Sept. 24 Dowling; Oct. 1 Ames; Oct. 8 at Waukee; Oct. 10 Ankeny Centennial Invitational; Oct. 15 Ankeny; Oct. 19 at Johnston Invitational; Oct. 22 at Southeast Polk.
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DOWLING CATHOLIC

DIVISION: Western
COACH: Mary Beth Wiskus, fifth season, 102-43
LAST SEASON: 33-11, 2-1 Division
TOP PLAYERS: S Jessi Henter Sr.; MH Alex DeMarco, Jr.; OH Brooke Reichart, Sr.
OUTLOOK: Henter and DeMarco started for last year’s team, which reached the state tournament for the first time in school history. Henter earned Des Moines Register all-CIML Elite honors. She’s a South Dakota State recruit.
SCHEDULE: Aug. 27 at Newton; Sept. 3 Fort Dodge; Sept. 7 at Valley Invitational; Sept. 10 at Ankeny; Sept. 14 at Iowa City West Invitational; Sept. 17 at Roosevelt; Sept. 24 at Ankeny Centennial; Sept. 28 at Cedar Falls Invitational; Oct. 1 Southeast Polk; Oct. 8 Valley; Oct. 12 at C.R. Jefferson Invitational; Oct. 15 at Urbandale; Oct. 19 at Johnston Invitational; Oct. 22 Johnston.
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EAST

CONFERENCE: Metro
COACH: Stephanie Carroll, second second, 8-25
LAST SEASON: 8-25, 2-4 Conference
TOP PLAYERS: MH Haley Stoll, Sr.; OH Rachel Boothroyd, Sr.; S Zakia Brown, Sr.; OH Jailene Rodriguez, Jr.; L Becca Novak, Sr.; OH Sarah Bohmke, Sr.; L Maritza Knight Beery, Sr.; S Trinity Wignall, Soph.
OUTLOOK: Eight letterwinners return from last year’s team. Seniors Maggie Long and Kathryn Garcia are back after battling injuries a year ago. Brown was honorable mention all-conference.
SCHEDULE: Aug. 31 at Ames Invitational; Sept. 3 at North; Sept. 10 Hoover; Sept. 14 at Southeast Polk Invitational; Sept. 17 Southeast Polk; Sept. 19 Urbandale; Sept. 24 Roosevelt; Sept. 28 at Cedar Falls Invitational; Sept. 30 at Saydel Invitational; Oct. 5 at Urbandale Invitational; Oct. 8 Ottumwa; Oct. 15 at Lincoln; Oct. 17 at Roosevelt Tournament; Oct. 19 at Indianola Invitational; Oct. 22 at Indianola.
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FORT DODGE

DIVISION: Northern
COACH: Tonia Burrell, first season
LAST SEASON: 8-27, 0-3 Division
TOP PLAYERS: OH Lexi Astor, Sr.; MH Ashley Altman, Sr.; MH Tianna Mericle, Sr.; S Madi Egli, Sr.; L Kari Grindberg, Sr.
OUTLOOK: A dozen starters are on the team this year. Five are returning starters. Astor was a first-team all-Division selection by the coaches. Mericle and Egli received honorable mention recognition.
SCHEDULE: Aug. 27 at Dallas Center-Grimes Invitational; Aug. 31 at Ames Invitational; Sept. 3 at Dowling; Sept. 10 Waukee; Sept. 14 at Osage Invitational; Sept. 17 North; Sept. 21 Fort Dodge Invitational; Sept. 24 at Ankeny; Sept. 28 at Cedar Falls Invitational; Oct. 1 Johnston; Oct. 8 Marshalltown; Oct. 15 at Perry Invitational; Oct. 17 at Mason City; Oct. 22 at Ames.
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HOOVER

CONFERENCE: Metro
COACH: Melissa Floyd, first season
LAST SEASON: 2-24, 1-5 Conference
TOP PLAYERS: Artorria Jung, Sr.
OUTLOOK: The team graduated 13 seniors last season, so expect a young and inexperienced team. Jung, one of the school’s top basketball players, will lend a hand.
SCHEDULE: Sept. 3 Roosevelt; Sept. 10 at East; Sept. 14 at Southeast Polk Invitational; Sept. 17 at Marshalltown; Sept. 24 Ottumwa; Sept. 28 at Roosevelt Tournament; Sept. 30 at Saydel Invitational; Oct. 1 at Lincoln; Oct. 15 at Indianola; Oct. 17 at Roosevelt Tournament; Oct. 19 at Indianola Invitational; Oct. 22 North.
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INDIANOLA

CONFERENCE: Metro
COACH: Kent Halstead, second season, 273-126 overall
LAST SEASON: 24-15, 6-0 Conference
TOP PLAYERS: S Kaylee Smith, Sr.; L Chelsey Smith, Sr.; OH Lexi Parker, Sr.; L Emma Chittenden, Sr.; MH Nicole Coghlan, Jr.; MH Madi Parrot, Sr.; S Kristina Quijano, Jr.; OH Kayla Quijano, Jr.
OUTLOOK: The Indians won the Metro title a year ago. Kaylee Smith, an Iowa recruit, was a Class 4-A first-team all-state selection by the Des Moines Sunday Register. Parker averaged 2.34 kills per set.
SCHEDULE: Aug. 27 at Waukee; Sept. 3 Lincoln; Sept. 7 at Marshalltown Invitational; Sept. 10 at Roosevelt; Sept. 14 at Southeast Polk Invitational; Sept. 17 Ankeny Centennial; Sept. 21 at Waukee Invitational; Sept. 26 Norwalk; Oct. 1 at Ottumwa; Oct. 5 at Urbandale Invitational; Oct. 8 at North; Oct. 15 Hoover; Oct. 17 at Ottumwa Invitational; Oct. 19 Indianola Invitational; Oct. 22 East.
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JOHNSTON

DIVISION: Western
COACH: Rick Brooks, 20th season, 486-188
LAST SEASON: 26-9, 1-2 Division
TOP PLAYERS: OH Taylor Joens, Sr.; S Abby Hallman, Sr.; L Keely Larkin, Jr.; OH Hayley Dotseth, Jr.; OH Emily Hanson, Sr.; OH Madeline Miller, Sr.
OUTLOOK: The squad has six returning starters from its state tournament team. Joens is a Southern Illinois-Edwardsville recruit. She was a Register second-team all-CIML pick. Nine returning players have see at least some starting time.
SCHEDULE: Aug. 27 at North; Aug. 29 Pella Christian; Sept. 3 Waukee; Sept. 7 at C.R. Washington Invitational; Sept. 10 Ames; Sept. 21 at Ballard Invitational; Sept. 24 Mason City; Oct. 1 at Fort Dodge; Oct. 5 at Urbandale Invitational; Oct. 8 Urbandale; Oct. 12 at C.R. Prairie Invitational; Oct. 15 at Valley; Oct. 19 Johnston Invitational; Oct. 22 at Dowling.
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LINCOLN

CONFERENCE: Metro
COACH: C.J. Degen, seventh season
LAST SEASON: 18-16, 4-2 Conference
TOP PLAYERS: MH Riley Longden, Soph.; OH Katie Nickel, Sr.; L Sydney Newton, Sr.
OUTLOOK: The team returns five players with starting experience. Nickel has twice earned second-team all-conference honors from the coaches. Longden received honorable mention recognition a year ago.
SCHEDULE: Aug. 26 at Ames; Aug. 29 at Southeast Polk; Aug. 31 at Clarke Invitational; Sept. 3 at Indianola; Sept. 7 at Valley Invitational; Sept. 10 Ottumwa; Sept. 14 at Southeast Polk Invitational; Sept. 21 at Waukee; Sept. 24 at North; Sept. 28 at Roosevelt Tournament; Oct. 1 Hoover; Oct. 8 at Roosevelt; Oct. 15 East; Oct. 17 at Ottumwa Invitational; Oct. 19 at Indianola Invitational.
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MARSHALLTOWN

DIVISION: Northern
COACH: Terri Westendorf, 10th season
LAST SEASON: 22-17, 3-0 Division
TOP PLAYERS: Leiah Paustian, Soph.; Amanda Hughes, Sr.; Emily Rebik, Sr.
OUTLOOK: Paustian is the only returning player who saw significant court time. She has 165 digs and 100 assists. Ten seniors are on the team’s roster, which will help provide leadership.
SCHEDULE: Aug. 26 Pella Christian; Sept. 3 at Valley; Sept. 7 at Marshalltown Invitational; Sept. 10 Ankeny Centennial; Sept. 14 at Iowa City West Invitational; Sept. 17 Hoover; Sept. 24 at Southeast Polk; Sept. 28 at Cedar Falls Invitational; Oct. 1 Urbandale; Oct. 8 at Fort Dodge; Oct. 12 at Oskaloosa Invitational; Oct. 15 Ames; Oct. 19 at Johnston Invitational; Oct. 22 at Mason City.
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MASON CITY

DIVISION: Northern
COACH: Randy Lewis, sixth season, 56-107
LAST SEASON: 12-21, 1-2 Division
TOP PLAYERS: OH Tricia Notermann, Sr.; MH Aubury Coleman, Jr.; S Ashley Rottinghaus, Jr.
OUTLOOK: Coleman had 140 kills last season. She earned coaches’ second-team all-Division honors. Noterman led the defense with 133 digs. The team graduated 11 seniors.
SCHEDULE: Aug. 31 at Ames Invitational; Sept. 3 Southeast Polk; Sept. 5 New Hampton; Sept. 10 at Urbandale; Sept. 12 at Clear Lake; Sept. 14 at Osage Invitational; Sept. 21 at Waterloo West Invitational; Sept. 24 at Johnston; Oct. 1 at Waukee; Oct. 5 at Waverly-Shell Rock Invitational; Oct. 8 at Ames; Oct. 12 Mason City Invitational; Oct. 17 Fort Dodge; Oct. 22 Marshalltown.
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NORTH

CONFERENCE: Metro
COACH: Jenny Lichty, second season, 0-30
LAST SEASON: 0-30, 0-6
TOP PLAYERS: OH/S Taylor Wisecup, Sr.; L Cassie Harrington, Jr.; OH Reagan Clay, Jr.; L Asacia Edwards, Jr.; S Mikayla Neal, Soph.; OH Justina Negrete, Soph.; MH Linzee Abuhl, Jr.
OUTLOOK: Seven players with starting experience are back for Lichty. Wisecup topped the team in kills (41), assists (42) and ace serves (25). Harrington posted a team-high 151 digs.
SCHEDULE: Aug. 27 Johnston; Aug. 29 at Southeast Polk Invitational; Sept. 3 East; Sept. 14 at Southeast Polk Invitational; Sept. 17 at Fort Dodge; Sept. 24 Lincoln; Sept. 28 at Roosevelt Invitational; Sept. 30 at Saydel Invitational; Oct. 1 at Roosevelt; Oct. 5 at Newton Invitational; Oct. 8 Indianola; Oct. 15 at Ottumwa; Oct. 17 at North Tournament; Oct. 19 at Indianola Invitational; Oct. 22 at Hoover.
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OTTUMWA

CONFERENCE: Metro
COACH: Jessica Carson, fifth season, 91-50
LAST SEASON: 16-20, 3-3 Conference
TOP PLAYERS: OH Megan Black, Sr.; OH Karissa Wilcoxson, Sr.; OH Megan Cobler, Sr.; OH Ellie Hammack, Soph.; MH Hope Bitner, Jr.; S Chloe Davis, Jr.
OUTLOOK: Six players with starting experience return to the lineup. Black, a coaches’ second-team all-conference selection, was second on the team with 171 kills. Hammack and Wilcoxson combined for 50 total blocks.
SCHEDULE: Sept. 7 at Marshalltown Invitational; Sept. 10 at Lincoln; Sept. 14 at Southeast Polk Invitational; Sept. 17 at Ankeny; Sept. 19 Mount Pleasant; Sept. 21 Ottumwa Invitational; Sept. 24 at Hoover; Oct. 1 Indianola; Oct. 5 at C.R. Prairie Invitational; Oct. 8 at East; Oct. 12 at Oskaloosa Invitational; Oct. 15 North; Oct. 17 Ottumwa Invitational; Oct. 19 at Indianola Invitational; Oct. 22 Roosevelt.
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ROOSEVELT

CONFERENCE: Metro
COACH: Mark Steinbach
LAST SEASON: 16-19, 5-1 Conference
TOP PLAYERS: OH Jalynn Roberts-Lewis, Sr.; MH Hannah Goodwin, Sr.; S Taylor Silvestrini, Jr.
OUTLOOK: Roberts-Lewis earned coaches’ first-team all-conference honors. She’s also one of the state’s top sprinters and long jumpers in track. Freshman Piper Mauck is expected to make an impact.
SCHEDULE: Aug. 27 at Dallas Center-Grimes Tournament; Aug. 31 at Bondurant-Farrar Tournament; Sept. 3 at Hoover; Sept. 10 Indianola; Sept. 14 at Southeast Polk Tournament; Sept. 17 Dowling; Sept. 24 at East; Sept. 28 at Roosevelt Tournament; Oct. 1 North; Oct. 8 Lincoln; Oct. 10 at Ankeny Centennial Invitational; Oct. 12 at C.R. Jefferson Tournament; Oct. 17 Roosevelt Tournament; Oct. 19 at Indianola Invitational; Oct. 22 at Ottumwa.
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SOUTHEAST POLK

DIVISION: Eastern
COACH: Matthew Parker, ninth season, 160-123
LAST SEASON: 23-11, 0-2 Division
TOP PLAYERS: L Mariah Rayhons, Sr.; OH Baylee Stoll, Sr.; MH Keslie Sickels, Sr.; S Sam Sixta, Soph.
OUTLOOK: Seven letterwinners return for the Rams. Rayhons earned Register second-team all-CIML honors. Both Sickels and Stoll compiled nearly 200 kills. Sixta had 57 aces for one of the state’s most aggressive serving teams.
SCHEDULE: Aug. 27 at Dallas Center-Grimes Invitational; Aug. 29 Lincoln, North, Norwalk; Sept. 3 at Mason City; Sept. 10 Valley; Sept. 14 at Southeast Polk Invitational; Sept. 17 East; Sept. 24 Marshalltown; Sept. 28 at Roosevelt Invitational; Oct. 1 at Dowling; Oct. 8 at Ankeny; Oct. 15 Waukee; Oct. 19 at Johnston Invitational; Oct. 22 Ankeny Centennial; Oct. 24 Newton.
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URBANDALE

DIVISION: Western
COACH: Liz Baethke, 15th season, 440-214-42 overall
LAST SEASON: 31-9, 1-2 Division
TOP PLAYERS: OH Kyla Inderski, Sr.; OH Emilee Erichsen, Sr.; OH Mackenzie Brees, Jr.; S Mallary Erbes, Jr.; MH Celie Kohls, Sr.
OUTLOOK: Eight letterwinners are back for the J-Hawks, who qualified for last year’s state tournament. Inderski and Erichsen both averaged more than three kills a set. Inderski was a first-team all-state selection.
SCHEDULE: Aug. 27 at Dallas Center-Grimes Invitational; Aug. 31 at Ames Invitational; Sept. 3 Ankeny Centennial; Sept. 10 Mason City; Sept. 14 at Southeast Polk Invitational; Sept. 19 at East; Sept. 21 at Waukee Invitational; Sept. 24 at Waukee; Oct. 1 at Marshalltown; Oct. 5 Urbandale Invitational; Oct. 8 at Johnston; Oct. 15 Dowling; Oct. 19 at Johnston; Oct. 22 at Valley.
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VALLEY

DIVISION: Western
COACH: Jeremy Mikesell, fourth season, 315-190-18 overall
LAST SEASON: 24-15, 2-1 Division
TOP PLAYERS: S Megan Cox, Sr.; L Peyton Kellner, Sr.; OH Emily Seibel, Jr.; OH Briana Woods, Sr.; MH Sydney Pick, Sr.; OH Lexie Jensen, Jr.
OUTLOOK: All but one starter returns from last year. Cox, who averaged 4.14 assists, earned coaches’ honorable mention all-divisional honors. Kellner averaged nearly three digs a set and was an coaches’ second-team pick.
SCHEDULE: Aug. 31 at Bondurant-Farrar Invitational; Sept. 3 Marshalltown; Sept. 7 at Valley Invitational; Sept. 10 at Southeast Polk; Sept. 14 at Southeast Polk Invitational; Sept. 21 at Waukee Invitational; Sept. 24 at Ames; Sept. 28 at Pella Christian Tournament; Oct. 1 Ankeny; Oct. 5 at Urbandale Invitational; Oct. 8 at Dowling Catholic; Oct. 15 Johnston; Oct. 19 at Johnston Invitational; Oct. 22 Urbandale.
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WAUKEE

DIVISION: Eastern
COACH: Ed Frederick, fourth season, 61-38
LAST SEASON: 12-21, 1-1 Division
TOP PLAYERS: L Morgan Potts, Sr.; OH Denise Ssozi, Soph.; S Zoey Clark, Soph.; MH Taylor Voorhees, Jr.; S Gabby Magee, Sr.; Lauren Vespa, Jr.; L Danika Mikesh, Jr.
OUTLOOK: Eight letterwinners are back. Clark and Vespa both had more than 200 assists. Potts led the team with more than four digs a set. Four returning players had 15 or more ace serves.
SCHEDULE: Aug. 27 Indianola; Aug. 31 at Ames Invitational; Sept. 3 at Johnson; Sept. 10 at Fort Dodge; Sept. 14 at Southeast Polk Invitational; Sept. 21 Waukee Invitational; Sept. 24 Urbandale; Sept. 28 at Cedar Falls Tournament; Oct. 1 Mason City; Oct. 5 at Urbandale Invitational; Oct. 8 Ankeny Centennial; Oct. 15 at Southeast Polk; Oct. 19 at Johnston Tournament; Oct. 22 at Ankeny.

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