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The Gazette KCRG
Posted November 9, 2011
Wahlert’s Till caps a big day with a big win

Dubuque Wahlert's Cait Dolehide (left) celebrates with Claire Till after the Golden Eagles beat Harlan's during their class 3A state quarterfinal match at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011, in southwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Wahlert won in three sets. (SourceMedia Group News/Jim Slosiarek)


CEDAR RAPIDS — All in all, a memorable day for Claire Till.

First, she signed a national letter of intent to play women’s basketball at the University of Iowa. Then, she helped Dubuque Wahlert advance at the state volleyball tournament.

“Probably the funnest day I’ve ever had in my life,” she said.

Top-ranked Wahlert fought off talented freshman Jess Schaben and No. 10 Harlan, 25-23, 25-21, 25-18, in a Class 3A quarterfinal Wednesday night at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.

Till has been sidelined through the majority of the volleyball season with a bad knee. She dislocated her kneecap during her sophomore year and has dealt with “a lot of broken cartilage.”

She has rested the knee for most of the volleyball season in an effort to be at full strength for basketball. She played Wednesday, though. And she contributed.

Amy Ihm collected 12 kills — including the final two points of the first set — and Till added seven.

“I’m just happy to be out here with these girls,” Till said. “A month ago, I thought my volleyball career was over.”

It will extend into Friday, when the Golden Eagles (30-8) face No. 4 Sioux City Heelan in a semifinal at noon. The Crusaders (45-11) defeated No. 6 Charles City in four sets Wednesday.

Wahlert’s shot is now. Harlan’s opportunity is coming. The Cyclones (31-7) have three freshman starters. At the top of the list in Schaben, a 6-footer (at least) with unlimited potential.

Schaben posted a match-high 19 kills.

“We knew what she was capable of,” Ihm said. “I don’t know if I could have been as composed as her when I was a freshman.”


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