Prep Volleyball

Cedar Falls volleyball sends win streak to 74

State volleyball: Tigers sweep Waukee in a 5A quarterfinal

CEDAR RAPIDS — Dominance has its drawbacks.

As the Cedar Falls Tigers turned the third set into a rout, their student section chanted, briefly: “This is boring.”

Boring, maybe. Brilliant, for sure.

Top-ranked Cedar Falls stretched its winning streak to 74 consecutive matches with a Class 5A quarterfinal sweep of No. 10 Waukee, 27-25, 25-14, 25-9, at the state volleyball tournament Tuesday afternoon at the U.S. Cellular Center.

“Most of us haven’t been on the court here before, and the jitters were out early,” Dara Hulstein said. “We just wanted to get that first set over with, then show them what we’ve got in the next two.”

The defending state champion, Cedar Falls improved to 45-0 in matches, 101-2 in sets this season. Both of the Tigers’ match losses last year came to Dike-New Hartford, and their last defeat to a 5A school came to Ankeny Centennial in the 2016 state final.

The Tigers advance to face No. 5 Linn-Mar (32-9) in a semifinal at 10 a.m. Thursday. The Lions defeated No. 4 Cedar Rapids Jefferson in four sets.

Cedar Falls served 11 aces — six by Emmy Wedgbury — and did not commit a service error all match.

“We knew it was going to be a serve and serve-receive game,” Tigers setter Emerson Green said.

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And they hit .444 and .478 in the final two sets. That’s a combination nearly impossible for an opponent to overcome.

Waukee (29-15) stayed right with the Tigers in the opener, forging ties at 22, 24 and 25.

But an errant serve put the Tigers in front, 26-25, then Hulstein nailed a quick kill out of the middle to clinch the set.

It got easier from there, and Cedar Falls moved its set record this season to 101-2.

The Tigers scored five straight points for a 6-1 lead in the second set, and led throughout. Then, in the finale, they tallied the first eight points.

Akacia Brown led the Tigers with 11 kills. Alayna Yates and Emily Clapp added nine apiece, and Green tallied 33 assists.

Haley Bush paced Waukee with nine kills.

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

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