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The Gazette KCRG
Posted November 1, 2010
Volleyball: Tuesday's area regional finals

A primer on the 10 area regional volleyball finals Tuesday:

 

IOWA CITY WEST vs. WEST DES MOINES VALLEY (4A)

Time & place: 7 p.m., at Newton

Records: Third-ranked West is 30-7; Valley is 20-15.

Notable: Last year’s 4A state runner-up, West is finally healthy and extremely formidable. The victim of an offseason ACL tear, Alli O’Deen has made up for lost time. The Iowa recruit is averaging 4.5 kills per game since her midseason return, and owns a .433 kill efficiency. Lexi Potter, Shelly Stumpff and Olivia Fairfield all add more than 2 kills per game. West was the Mississippi Valley Conference tournament champion. Valley advanced to state last year and returns two starters from that team — 6-foot hitters Cari Miller (3.4 kills/game) and Bailey Wilson (2.9 kills/game)

CEDAR RAPIDS KENNEDY vs. WATERLOO EAST (4A)

 

Katie Sickelka (9) and Cedar Rapids Kennedy face Waterloo East in a Class 4A regional volleyball final Tuesday at Vinton. (Brian Ray/SourceMedia Group News)

Time & place: 7 p.m., at Vinton

Records: Fifth-ranked Kennedy is 35-7; No. 7 East is 31-9.

Notable: The Cougars shoot for their third straight state appearance; they were 4A semifinalists in 2008 and 2009. To return, they’ll have to successfully dig a large number of attacks by Haley Eckerman, the 2009 state player of the year and the state’s kill leader at 6.9 per game. Kennedy has the firepower to offset Eckerman’s talent, though; the Cougars have a deep team led by Katie Sickelka (3.7 kills per game). Alexus Litts and Allie Hutcheson take turns setting in Kennedy’s 6-2 attack.

LINN-MAR vs. BETTENDORF (4A)

Time & place: 7 p.m., at Tipton

Records: Linn-Mar is 17-18; No. 4 Bettendorf is 24-7.

Notable: A state-tournament qualifier last year, Linn-Mar has dealt with inconsistency this season. But the Lions are within a win of returning to the U.S. Cellular Center. All-stater Kiah Stokes (4.8 kills per game) is a force in the middle. Bettendorf is the undefeated champion of the Mississippi Athletic Conference. Ann Miller averages 3.7 kills per game for the Bulldogs, who would advance to state for the fourth time in six years with a win.

CEDAR RAPIDS XAVIER vs. IOWA CITY HIGH (4A)

Time & place: 7 p.m., at Cedar Rapids Washington

Records: Sixth-rated Xavier is 28-11; No. 2 City High is 33-5.

Notable: This will be the fourth meeting between the teams this season, and by far the most important. The Little Hawks won two of the previous three. Xavier has advanced to state twice in its existence, but this is the best team in school history. The Saints kicked off their season by winning their first major tournament, the Warrior Invitational at Washington. Tyler Sampson leads a balanced attack at 2.6 kills per game. Kelsey Coleman paces City High at 3.2 kills per game.

UNION vs. WEBSTER CITY (3A)

Time & place: 7 p.m., at Iowa Falls

Records: No. 15 Union is 28-4; No. 9 Webster City is 27-6.

Notable: It’s been a memorable fall in the LaPorte City-Dysart area. Union won a district football title and a fourth straight state title in girls’ cross country. Now the volleyball team tries to advance to state for the first time. It’s a young team, with the top four attackers juniors or younger. Junior Casey Barney leads the way at 3.0 kills per game. Webster City also is aiming for its first state trip. The Lynx are led by the 3.4 kills per game from Sawyer Gourley.

WEST DELAWARE vs. DUBUQUE WAHLERT (3A)

Time & place: 7 p.m., at Dyersville

Records: Third-rated West Delaware is 37-3; No. 6 Wahlert is 22-9.

Notable: The Hawks face another matchup with nemesis Wahlert, which denied them a trip to state last year. All three of West Delaware’s defeats have come against 3A No. 1 Mount Vernon. All-staters Allison Pasker (4.0 kills per game) and Jenna Hermsen (9.2 assists per game) have been mainstays through the Hawks’ recent success. Wahlert has a state-high 17 state championships, but it has been five years since the Golden Eagles last won.  Amy Ihm averages 2.9 kills per game for Wahlert.

MOUNT VERNON vs. SOLON (3A)

Time & place: 7 p.m., at Tiffin

Records: Top-ranked Mount Vernon is 36-0; No. 8 Solon is 20-8.

Notable: Mount Vernon has dropped just one set all year, against Iowa City West in the Westside Tournament semifinals. The Mustangs are ranked 11th nationally by prepvolleyball.com. Courtney Kintzel, Ali Stark and Amanda Platte average 3.2, 3.0 and 2.6 kills per set, respectively. That trio have committed to UNI, Illinois and Drake. Sarah Ryan averaged 9.7 assists per game. Solon is led by Brie Winegar (3.4 kills per game). Solon is seeking its first trip to state; Mount Vernon has been to the finals three years in a row. The Mustangs won the 2A title last year.

WILLIAMSBURG vs. OSKALOOSA (3A)

Time & place: 7 p.m., at Grinnell

Records: No. 11 Williamsburg is 24-8; Oskaloosa is 22-17.

Notable: Williamsburg goes after its third state appearance. The Raiders advanced to the 3A semifinals last year. Junior Mackenzie Bigbee is among the state’s best hitters. She averages 4.2 kills per game and owns a .355 kill efficiency. Oskaloosa is a balanced outfit. The Indians have no attackers averaging 2 kills per game, but have four averaging more than 1.4.

WEST BRANCH vs. MEDIAPOLIS (2A)

Time & place: 7 p.m., at Muscatine

Records: West Branch is 29-6; third-rated Mediapolis is 41-3.

Notable: Cedar Valley Conference champion West Branch pursues its first state berth in school history. The Bears’ top two hitters — Heather Poula and Kelley Trimble — are sophomores. Mediapolis has a strong program year in and year out, behind Coach Dennis Jandrey. The Bulldogs have three hitters with kill efficiencies above .400. Kalyn Ertz leads the team at 2.5 kills per game and a .435 efficiency.

LISBON vs. FORT MADISON HOLY TRINITY (1A)

Time & place: 7 p.m., at Mount Pleasant

Records: Lisbon is 14-13; sixth-ranked Holy Trinity is 38-9.

Notable: Lisbon is on the wave of a drastic incline that should continue beyond this season. A program that won just two matches in 2007, the Lions are a win away from their first state appearance. Lisbon served 20 aces — 11 by Brittni Reid — in a five-game upset of Keota in the regional semifinals. Middle blocked Melissa Alger leads the offense at 2.7 kills per game. Long a Southeast Iowa power as West Point Marquette and now as Holy Trinity, the Crusaders are led by Deanna Knustrom (3.4 kills/game, .352 efficiency).

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