CEDAR RAPIDS — They needed this.
The Mediapolis Bullettes needed to get away from the southeast corner of the state. To broaden their horizons. To face some quality competition.
They got it.
Cedar Rapids Washington pushed the Class 3A top-ranked Bullettes through a tight third set, but Mediapolis came away with its unbeaten record — and school-record winning streak — intact, 17-21, 21-16, 16-14.
That was the pivotal match of the Michelle Stracevich Invitational volleyball round-robin Saturday at Prairie High School.
“We have to do these types of things,” said Mediapolis Coach Dennis Jandrey. “We need to get out of our area and see these teams, see this size, this speed of game.”
Mediapolis improved to 28-0, eclipsing its old record of 26 consecutive victories.
“This is a close-knit group of kids,” Jandrey said. “Nobody needs to be the hero. We’ve got five kids that can hit, and we’re not afraid to go to any of them.”
Most of Mediapolis’ schedule comes against its league rivals from the Southeast Iowa Superconference. And with the exception of Fort Madison Holy Trinity, nobody can stand up to the Bullettes.
It was apparent quickly that this was a drastic step up. Clear Creek Amana led the Bullettes, 20-16, in the first set of the first match before Mediapolis came back to win, 24-22, 21-18.
“That set the tone,” Jandrey said.
Mediapolis then outlasted Washington — it was only the Bullettes’ second loss of a set this season — before sweeping Cedar Rapids Prairie, South Tama and Ottumwa to complete a 5-0 day.
Washington (14-9) was the runner-up, finishing 4-1. Three times, the Warriors were pushed to a third set. Twice, they prevailed.
“It was good to come out and beat Prairie in the first match of the day. They’re always good competition,” said Warriors setter Hanna Reese. “And we were so close to beating Mediapolis.”
Reese said the Warriors still haven’t plateaued as they approach the stretch run of their season.
“A lot of teams seem to peak about now, and we haven’t,” she said. “There’s more to come for us.”
Clear Creek Amana was 3-2; Prairie, South Tama and Ottumwa each were 1-4.
MICHELLE STARCEVICH INVITATIONAL
At C.R. Prairie
Teams – 1. Mediapolis 5-0, 2. C.R. Washington 4-1, 3. Clear Creek Amana 3-2, 4. (tie) C.R. Prairie, Ottumwa and South Tama 1-4.
C.R. Washington def. C.R. Prairie, 21-18, 15-21, 15-7
Mediapolis def. Clear Creek Amana, 24-22, 21-18
South Tama def. Ottumwa, 15-21, 21-19, 15-10
Ottumwa def. C.R. Prairie, 21-18, 21-23, 15-10
Mediapolis def. C.R. Washington, 17-21, 21-16, 16-14
Clear Creek Amana def. South Tama, 21-12, 21-11
Mediapolis def. C.R. Prairie, 21-17, 21-15
Clear Creek Amana def. Ottumwa, 21-13, 21-12
C.R. Washington def. South Tama, 13-21, 21-8, 15-7
Clear Creek Amana def. C.R. Prairie, 14-21, 21-19, 15-8
Mediapolis def. South Tama, 21-12, 21-7
C.R. Washington def. Ottumwa, 21-11, 21-7
C.R. Prairie def. South Tama, 21-11, 21-14
Mediapolis def. Ottumwa, 21-3, 21-8
C.R. Washington def. Clear Creek Amana, 21-11, 21-19