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The Gazette KCRG
Posted November 11, 2010
'Blessed' coach leads Gehlen into 1A semifinals
1A Quarterfinal123
Fort Madison Holy Trinity (39-10)2519 2522 17
**LeMars Gehlen (28-6)172523 2519
1A Quarterfinal123  
East Union (30-8)7914  
**Tripoli (34-5)25 25 25  
1A Quarterfinal123 
**Stanton (28-3)2125 2525  
Grandview Park Baptist (35-12)25 222217 
1A  Quarterfinal1235
**Janesville (25-8)2322252515
Alta (24-6)25 25212210 

 

LeMars Gehlen Coach Mike Meyer addresses his team during their quarterfinal match against Fort Madison Holy Trinity on Thursday. The Jays won in five games. (Becky Malewitz/ SourceMedia Group News)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The pressure of a five-set thriller? No sweat.

Mike Meyer has survived worse.

Fifth-ranked LeMars Gehlen battled back from a 20-17 lead in the fourth game and staved off a match point in the fifth, outlasting No. 6 Fort Madison Holy Trinity, 17-25, 25-19, 23-25, 25-22, 19-17, in a Class 1A quarterfinal at the state volleyball tournament Thursday afternoon at the U.S. Cellular Center.

The triumph came 35 days after Meyer suffered injuries in a multiple-car crash on the way to a volleyball match at Hawarden.

“I feel very blessed to be able to enjoy all this,” said Meyer, the Jays’ head coach. “I’m very fortunate. God was looking out for me that day.”

Meyer was parked in his Dodge Intrepid after approaching a construction zone Oct. 7, awaiting a pilot car to lead a caravan of six cars through the zone. A semitruck hit them all. Nine people were injured, none fatally.

LeMars Gehlen's Kenzie Kellen taps the ball over the net with Holy Trinity's Colby Hoyer waiting on the other side. (Becky Malewitz/SourceMedia Group News)

Fifteen of Meyer’s ribs were either broken or cracked — “I looked at the X-ray, and stopped counting,” he said — and he suffered a collapsed lung and a broken collarbone.

He missed the Jays’ final seven regular-season matches before rejoining the team in time for the postseason. He still hasn’t returned to his teaching job; he’s a social studies and history teacher.

“One of the best days was when the girls visited me in the hospital,” he said. “Another one was our regional final.”

And another one was Thursday. Gehlen (28-6) was in dire straits late in Game 4, trailing 2-1 in games and 20-17 in the set.

Then Steph Rohe went ballistic, notching six kills in an 8-2 run that lifted the Jays off the mat.

“It’s not as if we don’t have other hitters than can do it,” said Rohe, who’s listed at 5-foot-7 but plays taller. “It was just my lucky day, I guess.”

Holy Trinity (39-10) had more opportunities in the finale. The Crusaders had a 10-7 lead before the Jays stormed back with five straight points.

Gehlen had match points at 14-13 and 15-14, but the Crusaders fought them both off. Deanna Knustrom’s ace gave Holy Trinity a window of opportunity at 16-15, but a violation and Amber Timmins’ block swung the advantage back to Gehlen.

The teams traded errant serves before a net violation on the Crusaders gave Gehlen the match.

Rohe finished with a match-high 20 kills. Lindsey Reinhardt led Holy Trinity with 15.

The Jays face No. 1 Tripoli (34-5) in a semifinal match at 6 p.m. Friday. The two-time defending champion Panthers made quick work of East Union.

One Response to 'Blessed' coach leads Gehlen into 1A semifinals

  1. It’s funny that the Tripoli/East Union game is still in progress but this article has them winning.

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