Sergeant Bluff-Luton earns first state volleyball tournament win

4A quarterfinal: Warriors top Heelan for the 4th time this season

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CEDAR RAPIDS — This time, qualifying wasn’t enough.

Fourth-ranked Sergeant Bluff-Luton registered its first victory at the state volleyball tournament in four tries, rallying past No. 5 Sioux City Heelan, 20-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-21, in a Class 4A quarterfinal Tuesday afternoon at the U.S. Cellular Center.

“It feels amazing to get that first one,” Madison Harms said. “But it’s only the first step.”

The Warriors were a first-round casualty in 1983, 1985 and 2015. Not this time.

They’ll take a 41-3 record and an 11-match winning streak into Thursday’s semifinal against No. 1 Cedar Rapids Xavier (32-9). First serve is noon.

Kylee Christensen collected 22 kills, Harms 15 and Elle Sneller 10 as the Warriors beat Heelan (33-11) for the fourth time this season, all since Oct. 7.

“They always some out strong, so we expected them to bring their best game,” Harms said.

The pivotal moment came at the end of the third set. Trailing 22-21, the Warriors got even on Christensen’s kill. Then it was Harms, finishing the set with two kills and a block.

“We’re a very strong blocking team,” Christensen said. “We try to slow the ball down and get as many touches as possible.”

Harms is 6-foot-2, Christensen and Sneller both 6 feet.

Lexi Sneller posted 49 assists for the winners.

Samantha McCabe led Heelan with 20 kills; Nicole Jacobson added 16.

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

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