powered by 
The Gazette KCRG
Posted November 12, 2011
Tripoli runs its 1A title run to 4 straight

Members of the Tripoli Panthers raise the class 1A state championship trophy after beating LeMars Gehlen at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011, in southwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Tripoli won in three sets. (SourceMedia Group News/Jim Slosiarek)

 

CEDAR RAPIDS — Will Baumann has a different perspective on Tripoli’s latest run of volleyball glory.

“As a sportswriter, you guys see it as a run of four in a row,” Baumann said in a postmatch meeting with reporters. “But behind the scenes, each year is a different story.

“For half of our roster, this was their first time on the court at state. Each year’s a different story. To watch these kids blossom again is my privilege.”

Pick your perspective. Either way, Tripoli still reigns.

The top-ranked Panthers (40-3) motored to their fourth straight Class 1A championship, sweeping No. 2 LeMars Gehlen, 25-14, 25-21, 25-12 Saturday at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.

“We had this tradition going, winning three in a row,” said Megan Gilbert, the obvious choice for all-tournament captain. We wanted this team to be remembered as the one that got the fourth.”

Tripoli's Megan Gilbert gets a dig during their class 1A state championship match against LeMars Gehlen at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011, in southwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Tripoli won in three sets. (SourceMedia Group News/Jim Slosiarek)

Tripoli had a pair of three-year runs (1999-2001 and 2003-05), and now this current team has gone above and beyond that. In all, that’s 10 titles in 13 years.

Gilbert, who will play at Saint Louis University next year, collected 22 kills — more than half of her team’s total — including the clincher from the back row.

“When we’re in system, we’re going to get good swings. And when we get good swings, I like our chances,” Baumann said.

Only the second game was close. Gehlen (34-2) worked to a 16-16 tie, but the Panthers scored the next three points to take the lead for good. At 21-20, Gilbert slammed back-to-back kills.

“They’re a good team overall, and they have a strong middle (in Gilbert), something we’re not used to seeing,” said Gehlen’s Katelin Langel.

Three Panthers made the all-tournament team: Gilbert, setter Sara Hoppenworth (37 assists) and Bailey Kirchhoff (six kills, 12 digs). They were joined by Langel, as well as Whitney Vander Maten of Boyden-Hull and freshman Kendyl Sorge of Janesville.

 

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

From the community

Local Life

Prep Sports Podcast

Find Us on Facebook