116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS – The Tipton Tigers tried to extend their first stay at the state volleyball tournament.
They just ran into a squad that had been there before.
Osage senior Kelsey Havel collected a game-high 12 kills as the sixth-ranked Green Devils swept No. 8 Tipton, 25-18, 25-19, 25-18, in a Class 3A volleyball state quarterfinal Wednesday at the U.S. Cellular Center.
'Definitely coming back from last year, I feel like we were feeling more confident in our abilities and what the U.S. Cellular Center was going to throw at us,' Havel said. 'I feel like that helped us a lot and it really made us more calm and relaxed when we played.'
Osage (26-9) was on the wrong end of a quarterfinal sweep last year. This time, the Green Devils will play the winner of top-ranked Sioux Center (32-5) and No. 13 Red Oak (23-13) in a 3A semifinal today at 2 p.m.
At times, it appeared Osage brought two teams of players with them. The Green Devils sported new black uniform tops for Game 1, then made a hasty change into their traditional green tops for the final two games.
'When we were on the court (in Game 1), all of a sudden our jerseys started falling apart,' Havel said with a laugh. 'Good thing we had our other ones.'
More than varied uniform color combinations, Osage utilized a well-balanced offensive attack to stymie Tipton.
Junior middle hitter Sydney Midlang added 10 kills, while Danielle Johnson posted eight and Brenna Jacobs had nine.
'We have hitters coming at you from everywhere,' Osage Coach Andie Olson said. 'That's exactly what we need to do.'
Junior setter Rylie Olson distributed 35 assists, while junior libero Kourtney Chambers tallied 10 digs.
Tipton led 12-9 in Game 1 and 13-9 in the second game. Both times, Osage turned the tables on the state-tournament rookies.
'We just made so many mistakes,' Tipton Coach Amy Calonder said. 'They got us out of system from the start.'
Sophomore outside hitter Sommer Daniel posted nine kills and 14 assists for the Tigers, who end their season at 32-7. The win total well surpassed the previous school record for a single season (26).
Tipton junior setter Amanda Smith tallied a team-high 12 digs, while junior outside hitter Blake Ehler added nine kills and 10 digs.
With no seniors in the starting lineup, the Tigers have likely not seen the last of the state tournament.
'The community buzz is huge,' Calonder said. 'We've just seen a huge outcry for more, and I think it is just going to increase our chances of getting back here throughout the next several years to come.'
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