Volleyball conference-tournament week is in full swing

Prep volleyball: Wamac, River Valley tourneys conclude Thursday; MVC and Tri-Rivers on Saturday

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There weren’t many moments of reckoning during Center Point-Urbana’s run to the Wamac Conference West Division title.

The Stormin’ Pointers faced a big one in preliminary play of the league tournament Tuesday, though, and met it head-on.

“We were down 11-6 (in the third set against West Delaware),” CPU Coach Cathy Husmann said. “We had to kick it in, and we proved to ourselves what we can do.”

CPU came back and won that set 18-16, finished pool play with a 3-0 match record and marches into Wamac bracket play as a slight favorite.

“I don’t want to jinx it,” Husmann said. “We’ve never won a conference tournament. But I think we’re going in very strong.”

The Wamac and River Valley conferences will conclude Thursday at Marion and Camanche, respectively, and the Tri-Rivers tournament opens with pool play at four sites.

CPU (30-9) faces a challenge immediately, a quarterfinal encounter with Independence (30-7) at 5 p.m..

“There’s a chance we could see them again in regionals, and that’s all right,” Husmann said.

East Division champion Mount Vernon (24-8) is on the other side of the draw and faces Marion (22-13). In the other quarterfinals, Western Dubuque (20-12) meets Solon (13-18), and Dyersville Beckman (26-11) tangles with West Delaware (23-18).

The surprise of River Valley pool play Tuesday came at Monticello, where the North Division co-champion Panthers were beaten twice and failed to make it into the championship bracket.

It’s still a strong field that includes the other two North co-champions — Camanche (28-8) and North Cedar (20-14) meet in the quarterfinals — as well as South Division champ Tipton (28-5), Iowa City Regina (24-7) and Wilton (30-4).

If there’s a lock among the area tournaments this week, it’s Springville in the Tri-Rivers Conference. The Class 1A second-ranked Orioles are 30-2.

“This is a nose-to-the-grindstone, businesslike team,” Coach Claude Howard said.

Springville exhibits a balanced attack in which four hitters — Mikayla Nachazel, Samantha Johnson, Rylee Menster and Alyssa Jaeger — all are averaging more than 2 kills per set.

“We’re lucky to have four kids that are so versatile,” Howard said. “And (setter) Madi (Wagaman) is the catalyst for that balance.”

The Mississippi Valley Conference tournament is a one-day affair; it begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at Iowa City High and Iowa City Liberty.

It’s possible that all eight teams in the championship bracket will be ranked, led by 5A No. 1 Cedar Falls (32-2), 5A No. 4 Cedar Rapids Jefferson (32-5), 4A No. 1 Cedar Rapids Xavier (27-7) and 4A No. 2 Dubuque Wahlert (13-8).

Jefferson claimed the Mississippi Division crown, its first in the league since 1997.

“We knew the potential was there if we had the right mindset,” J-Hawks Coach Amy Norton said. “The pieces were there. This year, we came in with a different mindset.

“We’re not very big, so when we step on the floor, we’re not that intimidating. You don’t really see how good we can be until you see us in motion.”

Bracket action at City High is scheduled to begin around 2 p.m.

Wamac

Thursday, at Marion

Quarterfinals

Mount Vernon (24-8) vs. Marion (22-13), 5 p.m.

Western Dubuque (20-12) vs. Solon (13-18), 4 p.m.

Dyersville Beckman (26-11) vs. West Delaware (23-18), 4 p.m.

Center Point-Urbana (30-9) vs. Independence (30-7), 5 p.m.

Semifinals

Top bracket, 6:30 p.m.

Bottom bracket, 6:30 p.m.

Championship

Semifinal winners, 7:15 p.m.

River Valley

Thursday, at Camanche

Quarterfinals

Tipton (28-5) vs. Durant (12-17), 5:45 p.m.

Wilton (30-4) vs. Bellevue (19-11), 5:45 p.m.

Iowa City Regina (24-7) vs. West Liberty (21-12), 5 p.m.

Camanche (28-8) vs. North Cedar (20-14), 5 p.m.

Semifinals

Top bracket, 6:30 p.m.

Bottom bracket, 6:30 p.m.

Championship

Semifinal winners, 7:15 p.m.

Tri-Rivers

Thursday’s Pool-Play Assignments

(Top 2 from each advance to bracket play Saturday at Wyoming)

At Lisbon (5 p.m.)

Lisbon (22-10), Cedar Valley Christian (14-10), Calamus-Wheatland (6-16)

At Springville (5 p.m.)

Springville (30-2), Maquoketa Valley (10-13), Alburnett (7-20)

At Bellevue Marquette (4 p.m.)

Bellevue Marquette (14-11), Easton Valley (8-12), Midland (1-21), Clinton Prince of Peace (0-19)

At Edgewood (4 p.m.)

Edgewood-Colesburg (13-13), East Buchanan (15-9), North Linn (1-21), Central City (2-21)

Mississippi Valley

Saturday, at Iowa City High & Iowa City Liberty

Pool A (at City High, 9 a.m.)

Cedar Rapids Jefferson (32-5), Iowa City High (12-14), Iowa City West (20-12), Dubuque Senior (3-27)

Pool B (at City High, 9 a.m.)

Cedar Falls (32-2), Linn-Mar (25-8), Cedar Rapids Washington (12-20), Waterloo West (10-16)

Pool C (at Liberty, 9 a.m.)

Dubuque Wahlert (13-8), Cedar Rapids Prairie (19-12), Waterloo East (4-23)

Pool D (at Liberty, 9 a.m.)

Dubuque Hempstead (23-6), Cedar Rapids Xavier (27-7), Cedar Rapids Kennedy (8-18)

Quarterfinals (at City High)

A-1st vs. C-2nd, 2 p.m.

D-1st vs. B-2nd, 2 p.m.

B-1st vs. D-2nd, 3 p.m.

C-1st vs. A-2nd, 3 p.m.

Semifinals (at City High)

Top bracket, 4 p.m.

Bottom bracket, 4 p.m.

Championship (at City High)

Semifinal winners, 5 p.m.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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