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The Gazette KCRG
Posted November 9, 2011
Kennedy makes quick work of Hempstead

Cedar Rapids Kennedy's Allie Hutcheson (right) and Alexus Rogers celebrate their class 4A state quarterfinal win over Dubuque Hempstead at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011, in southwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Kennedy won in three sets. (SourceMedia Group News/Jim Slosiarek)

 

CEDAR RAPIDS – Blink, and you missed it.

Seventh-ranked Cedar Rapids Kennedy sprinted into familiar territory in a new venue, needing just 63 minutes to close out No. 4 Dubuque Hempstead, 25-9, 25-21, 25-15, in a Class 4A quarterfinal at the state volleyball tournament Wednesday afternoon at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.

The Cougars’ reward: a fourth consecutive semifinal berth. And a Wednesday night practice.

Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s Ashlyn Milbrath hits over the net during their class 4A state quarterfinal match against Dubuque Hempstead at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011, in southwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Kennedy won in three sets. (SourceMedia Group News/Jim Slosiarek)

Coach Michelle Goodall designated a 7 o’clock workout to begin preparation on No. 1 Iowa City West, a team that sidelined the Cougars each of the past two years.

“Really?” said Kennedy star Allie Hutcheson when informed of Goodall’s decision. “That sounds great. We’re willing to do anything. If we need to practice overnight, we’ll do it.”

As for the first round, well, it was a Cougar clinic.

Kennedy (30-9) stormed to leads of 7-1, 13-2 and 17-3 in the first set. Blink, and you missed it.

“We came out, there was a lot of excitement and a lot of energy,” said Lexi Rogers. “We felt like we could do anything.”

Hutcheson said, “We came out on fire. We wanted to win, and it showed.”

The last two sets were a little more competitive. But only a little.

All the evidence you need to sample this mismatch: Kennedy’s hitters clicked at a .462 rate, putting down 42 kills (against only six errors) in 78 attacks on the ball. Hempstead (25-9) had 22 kills and 20 errors for a .022 kill efficiency.

Rogers led the Cougars with 10 kills and a hitting efficiency of .556. Hutcheson and Jordan Calef added seven kills apiece, and Ashlyn Milbrath and Katherine Thompson posted six each.

Minutes after the match, Goodall gathered her team beneath the giant scoreboard above the court and pointed at the kill numbers. They represented hitting depth. They reflected victory.

“We’re just playing well right now,” Goodall said. “We’re confident, we’re comfortable and we don’t have one kid that (opponents) can key on.”

Kennedy has won 11 of its last 12 matches.

Hempstead’s Audrey Reeg led all attackers with 11 kills, but committed nine hitting errors.

“The girls came clean in the locker room,” said Hempstead Coach Randy Dolson. “They admitted that they were really nervous. Anybody in the stands could see it.”

 

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