BELLE PLAINE — Play on. Play through it.
That’s April Kressley’s motto.
“I don’t call many timeouts,” said Kressley, the volleyball coach at Belle Plaine. “I do most of my coaching on the court, so unless I feel the momentum slipping away, I just let them play.
“And I didn’t feel that way tonight.”
Not even when the Plainsmen let a six-point advantage dissolve in the final set.
Instead, Belle Plaine turned it back on and completed a Class 1A regional-quarterfinal sweep of Iowa Valley, 25-18, 25-20, 25-21, Monday night at Belle Plaine High School.
“We didn’t get down,” junior Nicholaa Phillippe said. “We kept talking and kept a good attitude.”
Belle Plaine (27-12) advances to face Springville (18-16) in a regional semifinal here Thursday. The Orioles swept Cedar Valley Christian on Tuesday.
The Plainsmen won their ninth straight match, and the 21st of their last 23. They’re a young team that keeps growing, keeps improving.
Phillippe was a proven commodity before the season. Alyssa Tegeler, meanwhile, was a junior-varsity player.
Monday, Tegeler — a sophomore — swatted 14 kills to lead the winners. Phillippe, a junior, added 13.
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Two key players are freshmen. Grace Bean added six kills, and Mandy Chizek ran the show with 30 assists.
Kressley was a winner as a player, earning a state championship at Dike-New Hartford (she’s a 2000 graduate).
“Now I’m trying to bring some of that south of Highway 20,” she said.
All three sets were similar. Iowa Valley (16-19) led the opener, 11-9, then the Plainsmen took control with a 7-1 surge.
Game 2 was knotted at 14-all before Belle Plaine scored six in a row, including three straight by Tegeler blocks. After the Tigers erased an 8-2 deficit to get even at 13-all in the final, Belle Plaine scored five in a row to take charge.
Taylor Smith paced Iowa Valley with 14 kills. Abby Waddell accumulated 22 assists.
BELLE PLAINE 3, IOWA VALLEY 0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-21)
Class 1A Regional Quarterfinal, at Belle Plaine
Serving — Iowa Valley 54-60 (.900), Belle Plaine 65-73 (.890).
Aces — Iowa Valley 3 (Madyson Smithson 2), Belle Plaine 4 (Mandy Chizek 2, Kieran Holmberg 2).
Kills — Iowa Valley 29 (Taylor Smith 14), Belle Plaine 35 (Alyssa Tegeler 14).
Assists — Iowa Valley 28 (Abby Waddell 22), Belle Plaine 31 (Chizek 30).
Blocks — Iowa Valley 2 (Paige Jergens, Cecilia Jergens), Belle Plaine 4 (Tegeler 3).
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