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The Gazette KCRG
Posted November 9, 2011
Vondrak, McCarthy spur Heelan

Bishop Heelan's Natalie Vondrak (left) hits into the blocks of Charles City's Micaela Forsyth (center) and Karli Schlader (right) during their class 3A state quarterfinal match at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011, in southwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Heelan won in four sets. (SourceMedia Group News/Jim Slosiarek)


CEDAR RAPIDS — Natalie Vondrak and Megan McCarthy are big hitters. And more.

“It’s hard to find girls that are 5-11 and 6-1 that can play the back row well,” said Sioux City Heelan Coach Mary Miller. “And of course, they can terminate the ball.”

Vondrak counted 24 kills and McCarthy added 15 as fourth-ranked Heelan downed No. 6 Charles City, 25-17, 24-26, 25-15, 25-22, in a Class 3A quarterfinal at the state volleyball tournament Wednesday night at the U.S. Cellular Center.

The Crusaders (45-11) avoided a fifth set by scoring the final four points in Game 4 to erase a 22-21 deficit.

“Our defense really picked up there at the very end,” Vondrak said. “When you get to the state tournament, you’ve got to bring everything you’ve got.”

Heelan, which is making its 14th consecutive state appearance, will face No. 1 Dubuque Wahlert or No. 10 Harlan in a semifinal at noon Friday.

Vondrak and McCarthy rank 1-2 on their team in kills. And they’re 1-2 in digs.

Charles City (34-8) held that 22-21 lead in the fourth set, but a kill by Lauren Brobst tied it. After Vondrak’s final kill of the night gave the Crusaders match point, a net-cord ace by McCarthy sent them into the semifinals.

Madeline Hanno collected 51 assists for the winners. Jessie Sindlinger had 19 kills and 20 digs for the Comets.


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