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The Gazette KCRG
Posted November 13, 2013
Central Lyon ends Tripoli’s reign


CEDAR RAPIDS — They were six hours away from home, making their state-tournament debut against one of the greatest dynasties in Iowa volleyball history.

And the Central Lyon Lions didn’t shudder.

The fourth-ranked Lions spotted No. 7 Tripoli the first set, then proceeded to end the Panthers’ five-year title run with a 22-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-23 victory in a Class 1A quarterfinal Wednesday night at the U.S. Cellular Center.

“We tried not to be nervous, but we were,” said Ashley Vande Stouwe. “We got it going a little too late in the first (set). We knew they would come out pushing, and we were ready for that.”

Central Lyon (28-6) faces another Iowa Star Conference giant — No. 2 Janesville — in a semifinal at 6 p.m. Thursday.

“We’ll enjoy this for an hour, maybe two,” said libero Angel Rasmussen. “Then we’ll get back to business.”

Tripoli (24-15) was bidding to match the state’s all-time record of consecutive championships — six, by Dubuque Wahlert. The Panthers have won 11 titles, all since 1999. That might make this year’s relatively early exit sound like a disappointment.

Not so, said Tripoli Coach Will Baumann.

“That was another team, another time,” he said. “The last couple years, getting to state was a relief more than an accomplishment. What this team did, this year … I’m proud of them.”

After the Panthers took the first set, Central Lyon controlled play most of the rest of the way.

The Lions led the second set 23-12 before the Panthers made a late rush. And they forced the Panthers to chase them in the third and fourth games.

Set point in Game 3 and match point in Game 4 were decided on errant Tripoli serves.

“We had a lot of errors. The serves were the most obvious ones, but there were a lot of smaller ones that added up,” Baumann said. “It just wasn’t our night.”

Tripoli was victimized by 28 attack errors.

Yes, Central Lyon was making its state-volleyball debut, but it would be incorrect to call the Lions a bunch of wide-eyed rookies. Central Lyon is the reigning 1A state basketball champion.

Sarah Halse led the Lions with 16 kills. Vande Stouwe added 13.

“We knew they went with a single block a lot,” Vande Stouwe said. “We really tried to go at that.”

Elizabeth Seehase and Toni Moeller had 13 kills apiece for the Panthers.

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