CEDAR RAPIDS — Jessica Gehrke called it “a lesson learned.”
“We kind of relaxed, and we shouldn’t have done that,” she said.
Lesson learned. Lesson survived.
A point away from being forced to a fifth game, second-ranked West scored the final three points and closed out No. 9 Linn-Mar, 25-22, 25-13, 22-25, 27-25, in a Class 4A quarterfinal at the state volleyball tournament Wednesday at the U.S. Cellular Center.
“I’m really proud,” said West Coach Kathy Bresnahan. “We haven’t shown a lot of spark the last couple of weeks. We’ve gone through the motions a little lately.
“But when we get down, you can never write us off.”
West (38-2) won its 20th straight match and advanced to face No. 3 Cedar Rapids Kennedy in a semifinal at 2:15 Friday afternoon. The Cougars (35-4) rallied from a two-set deficit to beat Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln in five.
The Women of Troy were semifinalists last year.
“We’re trying to do better than we did last year,” said West’s Alli O’Deen. “Our goal is to get to the championship and win it all.”
West looked championship-caliber early, winning the first two games.
Then Linn-Mar (26-15) took Game 3 and had a chance to even the match.
An ace by Meghan Holdgrafer gave the Lions a 25-24 lead, but O’Deen spanked a kill to tie it and Gehrke blocked Kiah Stokes to give West the lead.
West won it on a wayward spike attempt.
Linn-Mar was making its state-tournament debut.
“We gave 100 percent, and that’s all you can do,” said Chelsea Burkle. “We had a whole bunch of excitement, and we weren’t going to back down.”
Linn-Mar outkilled the Women of Troy, 58-51 (Stokes had 31, Burkle 22), but committed 24 hitting errors, compared to 11 for West.
O’Deen collected 18 kills for West, Gehrke 13. Christiana Fairfield dished out 39 assists.
Morgan Rushford had 45 assists tot Linn-Mar.