|Ridge View (29-14)||12||17||11|
|**Western Christian (45-3)||25||25||25|
|Dike-New Hartford (35-9)||16||25||20||19|
|**Grundy Center (38-5)||25||22||25||25|
|Pella Christian (26-12)||23||20||22|
|**Lake Mills (44-1)||25||25||25|
CEDAR RAPIDS — Slide another record into Western Christian’s folder.
The Wolfpack advanced to the semifinal round for a state-record 10th consecutive time, sweeping Ridge View, 25-12, 25-17, 25-11, in a Class 2A first-round match at the state volleyball tournament Thursday night at the U.S. Cellular Center.
Think about that. Every year from 2001 through 2010, Western has been in the final four.
Last year, the drive stopped there. Sheldon knocked off the Wolfpack in the semifinals. But Western’s back, ranked No. 1 and heavily favored to complete the mission.
“We’re not here to avenge what happened last year,” said Western setter Kayla Gesink. “We just want a chance to be state champions.”
The Wolfpack (45-3) came out blazing and overwhelmed Ridge View (29-14), a first-year program built from the sharing agreement between Schaller-Crestland (a 1A finalist last year) and Galva-Holstein.
“It was really good for us to jump in front,” Gesink said. “It was good to not be stressed out and anxious.”
In the two bookend games, Western broke out to 7-0 leads.
Ridge View’s Roxanne Grundmeier led all attackers with 14 of her team’s kills. But the Wolfpack more than balanced that out with depth.
“We had a little more balance and depth,” said Western Coach Tammi Veerbeek. “We knew their offense was geared to their outside, so we cheated outside to stop that.”
Abby Horstman led the Wolfpack with nine kills. Gesink collected 27 assists and five blocks.
Western faces No. 7 Grundy Center (38-5) at 6 p.m. Friday.
MEDIAPOLIS 3, CLARINDA 1
The third-rated Bullettes picked up their first win in five trips to state, erasing two set points in the fourth set to win, 25-20, 25-19, 24-26, 27-25.
“I did not want to go (to a fifth game) at all,” said Jessica Holsteen, who triggered the fourth-set rally. “I didn’t even want to go four games, but it happens.
“It’s great to be part of the first winning team here.”
Mediapolis (43-3) will meet No. 6 Lake Mills (44-1) in a semifinal at 7:30 Friday night.
With the Bullettes trailing 24-22 in Game 4, Holsteen notched three straight kills to put her team in control. The Cardinals (26-6) tied it on Jenny Bair’s kill, but a Clarinda ball-handling error and a kill by Mediapolis’ Kalyn Ertz accounted for the match’s final two points.
Mediapolis won the first two sets and was poised to finish the match in three, but let a 24-23 lead get away in Game 3. Kills by Darcy Sunderman and Kaylee Buch and a block by Teal Driscoll extended the match.
LAKE MILLS 3, PELLA CHRISTIAN 0
The Bulldogs extended their winning streak to 27 matches, notching their 22nd sweep in that span, 25-23, 25-20, 25-22.
“This feels amazing, but the trip is not over yet,” said Lake Mills’ Amanda Lampman. “We’ve still got work to do.”
Lake Mills broke free from ties of 20-20 in Game 2 and 18-all in Game 3.
“Coach (Jim Boehmer) told us all year long that we could do anything,” Lampman said. “We got a good thing going tonight, it pumped us up and we took over.”
Abby Honsey keyed the Bulldogs’ five-point run that decided the second game with a block and a kill on successive points. Lampman had two kills in a three-point surge that gave Lake Mills some separation at 21-18 in the finale.
Pella Christian retired at 26-12.
Amanda Lampman, Clarinda, Class 2A quarterfinals, Dike-New Hartford, Grundy Center, Jessica Holsteen, Kayla Gesink, Lake Mills, Mediapolis, Pella Christian, Ridge View, state volleyball tournament, Tammy Veerbeek, Western Christian