116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - The past two weeks were cause for reassessment.
Stung by three losses in seven matches, the Class 5A fifth-ranked Linn-Mar volleyball team decided it was time for a mental shift.
'We really had a lot of motivation coming into this game,” Linn-Mar junior setter Megan Renner said after the Lions swept red-hot Cedar Rapids Prairie, 25-20, 25-15, 25-15, in a non-divisional Mississippi Valley Conference volleyball match Tuesday night at Prairie High School. 'We wanted to focus on ourselves more. We've just been playing for ourselves and really getting that win after a tough two weeks.”
A Purdue commit, Renner posted 31 assists for Linn-Mar (22-6). Four of the Lions' six losses this season are to top-ranked teams across three classes, while the other two were to 5A No. 4 Jefferson.
Against the Hawks - which entered having won 14 of 16 matches - the Lions closed with 11 of 14 points in Game 1. Surges of 15-2 and 15-6 in the second and third games, respectively, sparked a sweep that ended with two double-digit deficits.
'I think everyone did their jobs tonight,” said 6-foot-2 senior Carly Spies, a UNI recruit who tallied six kills. 'Our passing was really good throughout the whole match. Once hitters found ways to put the ball away, I think that really helped us.”
Once Spies fully recovers from an injured foot suffered earlier in the season, Linn-Mar will be even tougher to handle as the postseason nears. Regional volleyball pairings were announced Tuesday, and the Lions will host an Oct. 24 rematch with Prairie in a 5A regional semifinal.
'She's still not 100 percent, but we're working on it,” Linn-Mar Coach Teresa Bair said. 'She just sees the floor, she has so much experience under her belt that it's a real good factor for us.”
Junior Anna Gorsich led Linn-Mar with nine kills and six blocks, while Ellie Von Lehmden added eight kills and 12 digs.
Senior Jenna Wagemester paced the Hawks (16-10) with nine kills.
'We just didn't play consistently tonight,” Prairie Coach Lynnette Stecklein said.
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