CEDAR RAPIDS — Jessie Sindlinger is a three-time state-champion golfer who once shot 68 in a state-tournament round.
So you knew she wasn’t going to wilt on the big stage.
Sindlinger smoked 24 kills as top-rated Charles City ousted No. 9 Cedar Rapids Xavier, 25-18, 25-17, 20-25, 25-17 in a Class 4A quarterfinal at the state volleyball tournament Wednesday night at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.
“We knew she was going to be a great hitter,” said Xavier’s Kasey VandenBosch. “We just couldn’t shut her down.”
A senior who will play golf at the University of Iowa, Sindlinger was particularly dominant in the first two sets, racking up 16 kills in that span. After a Sindlinger spike late in the second game, the Comets students chanted with a little vanity and a lot of accuracy: “You can’t stop her.”
“The first two games were great,” Sindlinger said. “Then we got a little flat and had to come back.”
Charles City (43-1) won its 26th straight match — its only loss of the season came against national top-10 Dike-New Hartford — and advances to meet No. 4 Waverly-Shell Rock (45-7) in a semifinal at 1:45 p.m. Friday.
Xavier retired at 26-12.
“These girls did some things that no other Xavier teams have done,” said Saints Coach Barb Sullivan. “They beat (Cedar Rapids) Kennedy. They beat (Dubuque) Wahlert. They won the (Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Division title). There’s no reason to hang their heads. They fought hard.”
Charles City was just better.
The Comets rolled through the first two games, not facing a deficit in either of them.
Xavier enjoyed its first lead of the match at 8-7 in Game 3, and ran with it. It was 14-14 before Xavier went on its best run of the night, an 8-2 stretch that put the Saints in control.
“We just pulled together as a team,” said Xavier setter Sarah Homan. “We weren’t going to go down in three.”
The fourth game was tight early. The Saints were within 15-14 before Charles City scored four straight and pulled away.
Jackie Foster added 12 kills for the winners. Hali Hillegas distributed 53 assists.
VandenBosch posted 12 kills for Xavier, Kayla Torson added nine.
The Saints accepted their state-participation trophy and paraded it in front of their student section, accepting high-fives and a few hugs. There were a few tears, but not many.
“We fought and we battled,” VandenBosch said. “This was a close team. We’re teammates. We’re sisters.”