CEDAR RAPIDS — It wasn’t the panic button that Kevin Geary pushed. It was the reset button.
“Coach said this week that we were starting over at 0-0,” said Cedar Rapids Prairie’s Kelsi Ludvicek.
Ludvicek served a long string of points in the third game against Cedar Rapids Washington as the Hawks won that match, highlighting in a 3-1 day at the Prairie Invitational volleyball tournament.
The Hawks entered the week at 3-12. They left their gym at 7-13 (or 4-1, using their logic), feeling a lot better about themselves.
“We switched some things around in our lineup,” Geary said. “We wanted to shape some things up, try something different.”
Apparently, the changes worked. The Hawks finished second in the five-team round robin, behind Class 2A sixth-ranked Mediapolis.
“Maybe we had a little better focus,” Geary said. “We can play very well. It’s just a matter of doing it on a consistent basis.”
Prairie defeated Cedar Rapids Xavier in a five-set Mississippi Valley Conference match on Tuesday. The Hawks had two matches go the full three games Saturday — against Ottumwa and Washington — and won them both.
The Hawks scored 10 straight points for a 10-1 lead in Game 3 against Washington, with Ludvicek doing the damage at the service stripe. Prairie prevailed, 16-21, 21-15, 15-11.
“We wanted to make the libero move,” Ludvicek said. “It’s exciting to see how much better we’ve gotten. We wanted the Washington match to be a win, for sure.”
Mediapolis won each of its four matches, including a three-setter against Ottumwa, and improved to 26-1.
“We did a lot of good things. Our serving was phenomenal today,” said Mediapolis Coach Dennis Jandrey. “I don’t call serves. I let the kids do it themselves, and they do an excellent job knowing what to go after.”
Washington (11-11), South Tama (12-10) and Ottumwa (17-9) each went 1-3 Saturday.
C.R. PRAIRIE INVITATIONAL
Teams — 1. Mediapolis 4-0, 2. C.R. Prairie 3-1, 3. C.R. Washington 1-3, 4. South Tama 1-3, 5. Ottumwa 1-3.
C.R. Prairie def. South Tama, 21-12, 21-8
Ottumwa def. C.R. Washington, 21-19, 29-27
Mediapolis def. C.R. Prairie, 21-10, 21-15
C.R. Washington def. South Tama, 22-24, 21-13, 15-13
C.R. Prairie def. Ottumwa, 21-16, 19-21, 15-10
Mediapolis def. South Tama, 21-9, 21-15
C.R. Prairie def. C.R. Washington, 16-21, 21-15, 15-11
Mediapolis def. Ottumwa, 17-21, 21-15, 15-12
Mediapolis def. C.R. Washington, 21-14, 21-16
South Tama def. Ottumwa, 21-19, 21-19