Top-ranked Ankeny, winners of two straight big-school titles, moved to 25-0 this season against 4A competition, defeating Cedar Rapids Xavier, 25-19, 25-19, 21-25, 25-18.
“We didn’t block very well (in a quarterfinal win Wednesday),” said Erin Roggenburg. “We practiced hard (Thursday) and we showed what we could do.
“We knew this wasn’t going to be easy.”
Xavier, which ended its best season in school history at 30-12, played the Hawkettes close through the majority of the first two games before breaking through in the third.
“We just all decided that it wasn’t going to be our last game. We believed all along we could do it,” said Moleigh Ryther, who led the Saints with 11 kills.
Ankeny regrouped, though. A 7-1 run midway through the set gave the Hawkettes a 13-10 lead, and they pulled away late.
Ronnenburg finished with a match-high 17 kills. Maddie Manning added 13.
Ty Sampson and Kayla Waddell added nine apiece for the Saints.
This was Xavier’s third appearance at state, but easily the best team the school has fielded.
“Even though we made it to state last year, I think people still underestimated us,” said Saints Coach Barb Brunow. “We proved ourselves time and time again.”
She teared up.
“I’ll never forget this team.”
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