NORTH LIBERTY — The Iowa City Liberty volleyball team offered a strong response to its first setback of the season.
One week after a 13-match win streak ended in four sets at Class 4A No. 4 Dubuque Wahlert, the 5A second-ranked Lightning had their first chance to get back in the win column Tuesday night at home against Linn-Mar.
“We just took it like we need to come in strong,” Liberty senior outside hitter LeeAnn Potter said after Liberty swept the Lions, 25-9, 25-13, 25-17, in a Mississippi Valley Conference match. “We can’t underestimate anyone and just play our game. Do what we can do.”
Liberty (14-1, 3-1) did plenty in all three sets. The Lightning had bursts of 11-2 and 14-5 in Set 1, closed the second set with 20 of 27 points and started the third with a 15-6 explosion.
“Our passing was a lot better,” Liberty Coach Randy Dolson said. “We only had a few strays, otherwise I thought our passing worked really well. We served extremely tough. … If you can serve tough and pass, the game gets a little bit easier.”
Potter — a three-year starter and honorable mention selection to the 4A all-state team last year — led Liberty with a season-high 13 kills and now leads the team with 94 overall.
The Lightning also had big nights from two of their impactful newcomers. Freshman middle blocker Cassidy Hartman posted seven kills and now has 89 this season, while senior setter Rylee Fay — a Missouri State commit who transferred from Iowa City West — chipped in a pair of ace serves and a team-high 21 assists.
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“It has brought a lot,” Potter said of the roster additions. “Our whole team is just all-around really good players. We are coming together and it is going really well.”
Liberty junior setter Hailey Hested had 14 assists off the bench, while junior libero Addie Schmierer contributed 14 digs.
Liberty hosts an eight-team invitational this Saturday.
Linn-Mar (11-11, 1-3) was led by senior outside hitter Emily Strauss, who accounted for eight kills.
The Lions host Iowa City West next Tuesday.