Dike-New Hartford sweeps Western in Petersen twins' finale

2A championship: Wolverines earn their 13th title

CEDAR RAPIDS — They have one more club season together.

But as for interscholastic competition, Friday was the swan song for Baylee and Sydney Petersen.

“I know, it’s tough,” Baylee Petersen said. “I want to cry. I’m sure I will later.”

Top-ranked Dike-New Hartford was surgical in the Class 2A championship match at the state volleyball tournament, sweeping No. 2 Western Christian, 25-15, 25-21, 25-17, at the U.S. Cellular Center.

It was the program’s 13th state title; the Wolverines concluded the season at 50-3. And it was the last time the Petersen twins — daughters of UNI coach Bobbi Petersen — will wear DNH uniforms.

“Last hurrah,” Sydney acknowledged. “I’ll miss it a lot. This just kind of tops it off.”

Sydney will be a libero at Texas next year; Baylee will play for her mom in Cedar Falls. As teammates, they won three state titles: 2A as freshmen, 3A as juniors, then back to 2A again this year.

“They’re dynamic,” said a gracious Western Coach Tammi Veerbeek said. “That team passes so on-point, so crisp, right to the setter.

“They were better than we were, and we can accept that.”

Watch: DNH wins Class 2A state volleyball title

Both twins were on the all-tournament team (Sydney was selected the captain), as were DNH’s Morgan Weber, Western’s Ashtyn Veerbeek and Jessi De Jager, plus Sydney McLaren of Council Bluffs St. Albert and Kylie Willis of Grundy Center.

Dike-New Hartford owned the first two sets. Consider this ... from the time the Wolverines led Game 1, 9-8, until the time they led the second set, 14-9, Western Christian (39-7) did not score consecutive points.

The Wolfpack got within 16-14 before DNH closed out the second set. Western started hot in the third, taking an 11-5 lead.

It evaporated quickly.

Amber Rickert fueled a 14-2 run with three kills and a block, and it wasn’t long before the Wolverines were counting down the points for a championship.

Dike-New Hartford enjoyed a significant advantage in kills (47-26) and kill efficiency (.350 to .098). Baylee Petersen had 16 kills, Rickert 12, Weber 11.

Astonishingly, DNH outblocked the taller Wolfpack, 7-5.

“I wouldn’t have believed that if you told me that before the match,” DNH Coach Diane Harms said. “I think it all started with our serve. Our servers got going, and it lets up get our defense get set up.”

Madison Hedges collected 36 assists; Sydney Petersen had 20 digs.

Ashtyn Veerbeek led Western with 11 kills.

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



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