The Mississippi Valley Conference has quantity on its side. Five of the eight 4A qualifiers hail from the MVC.
Question is, can any of them stop Ankeny?
The Hawkettes have snagged three of the last four big-school titles and enter the week as the No. 1 team. Four players started on last year’s title team.
No. 2 Iowa City West was the team that pushed Ankeny the most last year, taking the Hawkettes to four games. West owns a 19-match win streak; that run includes triumphs over MVC foes and 4A qualifiers Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Cedar Rapids Xavier, Dubuque Hempstead and Linn-Mar, which it meets in the opening round today. West has climbed to No. 26 in prepvolleyball.com’s national rankings.
No. 3 Kennedy was a semifinalist last year and returns virtually intact. The Cougars have played — and defeated — every 4A qualifier except for Ankeny.
West has never reached a final in its previous eight state trips. We think, this year, they will. And then some.
Dubuque Hempstead over West Des Moines Valley in 5; Ankeny over Cedar Rapids Xavier in 3; Iowa City West over Linn-Mar in 4; Cedar Rapids Kennedy over Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln in 4.
Ankeny over Dubuque Hempstead in 4; Iowa City West over Cedar Rapids Kennedy in 4.
Iowa City West over Ankeny in 5.