Prep Volleyball

Belle Plaine volleyball's new nucleus has answered the bell

Plainsmen have won 20 of 22, host Iowa Valley in 1A regional quarterfinal

Belle Plaine Plainsmen
Belle Plaine Plainsmen

Belle Plaine lost eight volleyball players to graduation last season, one of whom now plays at Iowa State University.

If you anticipated a step backward, you would be wrong.

“I really didn’t know what to expect,” Coach April Kressley said. “It’s amazing what we’ve done.”

Nicholaa Phillippe blossomed into a prolific attacker, and the Plainsmen captured the South Iowa Cedar League championship. They have won 20 of their last 22 matches, and take a 26-12 record into Monday’s Class 1A regional quarterfinal at home against Iowa Valley (16-18).

First serve is 7 p.m.

A 5-foot-9 junior, Phillippe became the focus of the Plainsmen’s attack after Kenzie Mantz graduated and departed for Ames. Phillippe has averaged 4.06 kills per set, with a .300 kill efficiency.

“She has been playing since she was a freshman,” said Kressley, in her second year as the team’s head coach. “She had been in the background a little, but we knew the potential she had.”

The Plainsmen feature only one senior — libero Macy Dodd — and Kressley said there is a buzz locally about this team’s future, along with its current prospects of a lengthy postseason run.

“The vibe in town is really amazing,” Kressley said. “This team is young and fun to watch.”

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Sophomore Alyssa Tegeler adds 2.46 kills per set, and the attack is run by a freshman, Mandy Chizek (8.16 assists per set).

Belle Plaine has faced Iowa Valley twice this season, winning both — including a five-setter on Sept. 26.

“They’re going to pick up balls and come right back at us,” Kressley said. “We have a good front row. If our defense plays well and we serve-receive well, we should be OK.”

The area’s two ranked 1A teams open the postseason Monday. Fifth-rated North Tama (22-6) hosts Collins-Maxwell (13-13), and No. 9 Lisbon (34-7) entertains Calamus-Wheatand (9-24).

Dyersville Beckman is the lone ranked area club in 2A. The third-rated Blazers (37-8) host Sumner-Fredericksburg (17-18).

Regional semifinals are Tuesday in 5A, 4A and 3A.

Monday’s Class 2A regional quarterfinals

All matches 7 p.m.

Region 6

Danville (8-17) at Mediapolis (39-1)

Louisa-Muscatine (14-12) at Wapello (16-14)

Colfax-Mingo (9-21) at Hudson (28-7)

Columbus Community (6-22) at Iowa City Regina (6-28)

Region 7

Sumner-Fredericksburg (17-18) at Dyersville Beckman (37-8)

Clayton Ridge (14-17) at MFL MarMac (14-11)

West Fork (7-15) at Denver (25-14)

South Hardin (14-13) at Aplington-Parkersburg (15-16)

Region 8

Durant (10-21) at Wilton (32-3)

Bellevue (18-16) at North Cedar (20-19)

Maquoketa Valley (14-14) at Cascade (22-10)

Alburnett (13-15) at West Branch (19-15)

Monday’s Class 1A regional quarterfinals

All matches 7 p.m.

Region 4

Collins-Maxwell (13-13) at North Tama (22-6)

Lynnville-Sully (18-7) at Montezuma (19-16)

Baxter (13-11) at Conrad BCLUW (21-14)

Grand View Christian (20-19) at Southeast Warren (18-14)

Region 6

Starmont (13-17) at Wapsie Valley (20-15)

West Central (19-12) vs. Don Bosco (16-15), at Winthrop

Turkey Valley (20-12) at Tripoli (16-20)

South Winneshiek (3-25) at Edgewood-Colesburg (25-9)

Region 7

Calamus-Wheatland (9-24) at Lisbon (34-7)

Easton Valley (10-19) at Clinton Prince of Peace (21-16)

Iowa Valley (16-18) at Belle Plaine (26-12)

Cedar Valley Christian (12-16) at Springville (17-16)

Region 8

Burlington Notre Dame (18-18) at Fort Madison Holy Trinity (25-10)

Seymour (15-16) vs. Wayne (9-17), at Moravia

Keota (5-16) at New London (27-8)

North Mahaska (16-11) at WACO (22-11)

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

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