Prep Volleyball

Addie Schmierer's serve ignites Liberty volleyball into some long scoring surges

Lightning storm back after a slow start, top Linn-Mar in 4

Iowa City Liberty's Cassidy Hartman (33) hits the ball over as Linn-Mar's Lauren Gorsich (4) jumps to block during the f
Iowa City Liberty's Cassidy Hartman (33) hits the ball over as Linn-Mar's Lauren Gorsich (4) jumps to block during the first set of their volleyball match at Linn-Mar on Thursday. The Lions won the set, but Liberty came back to win the match. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

MARION — When Addie Schmierer went to the service line, good things invariably happened for the Iowa City Liberty volleyball team.

Schmierer’s serve ignited big runs in each of the last three sets, and the Class 5A sixth-ranked Lightning roared back after a slow start and defeated Linn-Mar, 21-25, 25-13, 25-19, 25-15, in an MVC Mississippi Division volleyball match Thursday night at Linn-Mar High School.

“I think the key — they’re a really good team — and the point always starts with the serve,” said Schmierer, the Liberty libero. If you serve the ball hard, you’re not going to give the other team the opportunity to hit it hard.

“Just getting the serves in, changing it up ... short, deep ... you can get the other team out of system.”

With Schmierer starting the points, the Lightning (10-2, 5-0 MVC Mississippi) went on a surge of seven straight points in Game 2, six in a row in the third set and 10 consecutive in the finale.

“She’s able to mix it up,” Liberty Coach Randy Dolson said. “It’s not just a matter of serving it hard and deep. She was able to get a couple of short aces.”

Schmierer had six aces, and her serve kept the Lions (9-10, 4-3) off balance for long stretches. And that was able to help neutralize the Lions’ blocking prowess (they finished the match with 16 of them).

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Like the other Iowa City public schools, the Lightning missed a good chunk of the season in September due to the district’s online-only learning.

“We’re still developing,” Dolson said. “That was three long weeks off, and we’ve had to change some things with our lineup. But we’re a deep team, so that helps.”

During the hiatus, co-captains Schmierer and Haley Hested got the team together for regular players-only workouts.

“We’re still trying to get into the swing of things,” Schmierer said. “We’re not where we want to be yet, but we have some very high goals.”

Cassidy Hartman, Kennedy Daugherty and Shelby Kimm collected 17, 11 and 10 kills, respectively. All are sophomores. Hested distributed 27 assists.

Allison Feigenbaum had 10 kills and five blocks for Linn-Mar.

IOWA CITY LIBERTY 3, LINN-MAR 1 (21-25, 25-13, 25-19, 25-15)

At Linn-Mar

Serving: Liberty 86-94 (. 915), Linn-Mar 69-72 (. 958)

Aces: Liberty 9 (Addie Schmierer 6), Linn-Mar 1 (Emma Casebolt)

Kills: Liberty 47 (Cassidy Hartman 17), Linn-Mar 30 (Allison Feigenbaum 10)

Assists: Liberty 45 (Haley Hested 27), Linn-Mar 30 (Mia Frese 18)

Blocks: Liberty 5 (Shelby Kimm 5), Linn-Mar 16 (Feigenbaum 5)

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

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