116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
WILLIAMSBURG - The Springville Orioles are heading back to the state tournament for a third straight season, looking to avenge last year's semifinal loss.
No. 2 Springville knocked off No. 14 HLV, 25-21, 25-11, 25-11, in a Class 1A regional final Tuesday night.
'I think every time is satisfying. Just to go (to the state tournament) is a great feeling,” senior Sami Johnson said.
Springville started slow. It led 16-15 before Coach Claude Howard called a timeout to settle down his team, which proceeded to win the next four points behind Johnson's serving.
Johnson killed any momentum HLV had when she served. In the second game, Johnson's serving helped Springville win seven straight points, extending its lead to 18-9.
'She can hit just about any spot on the floor,” Howard said. 'We work really hard in practice to try to put other teams in bad positions to play offense.
'With Sami, we can do that.”
It worked to perfection in the third game. Springville jumped out to a big lead, ruining any hopes HLV had of making a comeback. Once again, it was led by Johnson.
'We just had a lot more energy and we were ready to go,” Johnson said.
Backed by her serving, the Orioles won six straight points, taking an 11-3 lead. HLV never won more than two straight points the rest of the way, largely due to Springville's dominant net play.
Senior Mikayla Nachazel had five kills in the final game, including the match-winner. She helped the Orioles win at least four straight points three times.
'This group doesn't get rattled,” Howard said. 'Once that first emotional adrenaline push is gone, they're really settled in to what they're doing.”
Making another state tournament isn't what Howard or Springville wants, though. They have their eyes set on a state title.
'By the time we get off the bus in Springville,” Howard said when asked when his focus shifts to the state tournament. 'We're on a mission here.”
Springville (38-2) faces No. 8 North Tama (29-7) at 8 p.m. next Wednesday at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids.