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Carroll Kuemper cruises to Class 3A state volleyball semifinals

Knights sweep Clarion CGD

CEDAR RAPIDS — Carroll Kuemper has been the top-ranked Class 3A team all season.

The Knights remain on top of their perch for at least one more round.

Kuemper made quick work of Clarion CGD, sweeping its quarterfinal foe, 25-17, 25-14, 25-18, at the state volleyball tournament Wednesday at the U.S. Cellular Center. The Knights (43-1) return to the semifinals for the second straight season.

“We came in and did what we had to do,” Kuemper senior Grace Molak said. “We performed really well, I think.”

“We didn’t play as good as we wanted to but now there’s a tomorrow to prove us better,” said Kuemper standout Aimee Adams, a University of South Dakota signee.

Kuemper is making its fourth straight appearance and 11th in school history. This team has a little something that separates them form than previous ones.

“There’s definitely a different feel,” Adams said. “Our chemistry is amazing.

“We’re so focused. (Coach) Keith (Stickrod) actually told us this is the most focused team he’s ever had. We push the younger kids more than he does. It’s a good team. We’re all focused. We all want it.”

Kuemper controlled the first set and continued to roll in the second, winning nine of the first 12 points. It closed out the match with 10 of the last 16 points.

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Adams and Kara Peter led the Knights with 12 kills each. Molak added 10, while Adams assisted on three blocks and two aces.

“We’ve got a strong team,” Stickrod said. “I’m just confident about them.”

Madison Laurson had 34 kills and Holly Cooksley had 47 assists and 15 digs for the Cowgirls (27-9).

Kuemper advances to face Osage (30-6) in the semifinals Thursday at 2 p.m.

l Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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