MARION — Make no accusations that Linn-Mar gave itself an easy road, a cushy draw.
“Of the top four teams here, I felt three of them were in our pool,” Coach Teresa Bair said. “It doesn’t bother me a bit. We want to get better, and you get better by playing the best teams you can.”
The Class 5A fourth-ranked Lions earned their second straight Saturday volleyball tournament title, breezing past No. 5 Dubuque Hempstead, 21-12, 21-5 in the championship match of the Linn-Mar Invitational.
“We’re a well-conditioned team. Coach works us hard,” Anna Gorsich said. “We’re able to outlast teams. (Hempstead) seemed pretty dead in that last match.”
The Lions, on the other hand, were giggly, goofy and very, very good toward the end of the championship match.
“Usually, (Bair) is on us to always be focused, but I think she was a little more lenient because we were so far ahead,” Gorsich said.
“I think we’re always mentally prepared, but positivity and playing loose, that plays a role, too,” added Ellie Von Lehmden.
Linn-Mar (16-3) has won 10 straight matches. In the last eight days, the Lions have claimed two tournament titles (at Cedar Rapids Washington last week), and Bair has surged past the 700-win career milestone.
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The Lions’ pool also featured Hempstead and Center Point-Urbana. They beat both in three sets in the early session, then saw them both again in bracket play.
Linn-Mar rallied past 4A No. 7 CPU, 16-21, 21-18, 15-12 in the semifinals.
“We held our own against Linn-Mar in both of our matches today,” CPU Coach Cathy Husmann said. “They’re a very, very good team.
“This will help us immensely. We play Marion (in a Wamac Conference West Division showdown) Tuesday, and it will help for regionals. We need to get better at our passing and get a little more mental toughness in tough situations.”
The Stormin’ Pointers reached the championship bracket despite a 1-2 pool mark, then swept previously unbeaten Davenport Assumption in the quarterfinals before the Lions eliminated them.
CPU’s Abbey Weideman — a University of South Dakota recruit — went over the 1,000-kill mark for her career Saturday.
The Lions dictated action throughout the championship match. A six-point surge at 13-10 broke open the first set, then the Lions shot to leads of 6-0, 11-1 and 17-2 in the finale.
LINN-MAR INVITATIONAL VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT
Teams — 1. Davenport Assumption 3-0, 2. Marion 2-1, 3. C.R. Prairie 1-2, 4. Waterloo East 0-3.
Marion def. Waterloo East, 21-7, 21-12
Davenport Assumption def. C.R. Prairie, 21-18, 21-16
Davenport Assumption def. Waterloo East, 21-6, 21-8
Marion def. C.R. Prairie, 21-19, 21-16
C.R. Prairie def. Waterloo East, 21-17, 21-8
Davenport Assumption def. Marion, 16-21, 21-15, 16-14
Teams — 1. Linn-Mar 3-0, 2. Dubuque Hempstead 2-1, 3. Center Point-Urbana 1-2, 4. Muscatine 0-3.
Dubuque Hempstead def. Muscatine, 21-4, 21-6
Linn-Mar def. Center Point-Urbana, 20-22, 21-19, 15-10
Linn-Mar def. Muscatine, 21-13, 21-11
Dubuque Hempstead def. Center Point-Urbana, 21-19, 21-16
Center Point-Urbana def. Muscatine, 21-8, 21-16
Linn-Mar def. Dubuque Hempstead, 14-21, 21-18, 15-11
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Teams — 1. Pleasant Valley 3-0, 2. Sumner-Fredericksburg 2-1, 3. Solon 1-2, 4. Vinton-Shellsburg 0-3.
Pleasant Valley def. Vinton-Shellsburg, 21-14, 21-5
Sumner-Fredericksburg def. Solon, 20-22, 21-16, 15-8
Pleasant Valley def. Sumner-Fredericksburg, 21-10, 21-18
Solon def. Vinton-Shellsburg, 21-13, 21-10
Pleasant Valley def. Solon, 21-13, 21-16
Sumner-Fredericksburg def. Vinton-Shellsburg, 21-8, 21-12
Vinton-Shellsburg def. Waterloo East, 22-20, 18-21, 16-14
C.R. Prairie def. Muscatine, 21-18, 21-15
C.R. Prairie def. Vinton-Shellsburg, 21-13, 21-7
Pleasant Valley def. Solon, 21-16, 23-21
Dubuque Hempstead def. Marion, 19-21, 21-8, 15-7
Center Point-Urbana def. Davenport Assumption, 21-13, 21-15
Linn-Mar def. Sumner-Fredericksburg, 21-7, 21-14
Dubuque Hempstead def. Pleasant Valley, 17-21, 21-13, 15-10
Linn-Mar def. Center Point-Urbana, 16-21, 21-18, 15-12
Linn-Mar def. Dubuque Hempstead, 21-12, 21-5
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