CEDAR RAPIDS — A state-tournament return. And a first-round rematch.
Sydney Kloubec can’t wait.
“I’m ready,” she said. “We want them. Bring them on.”
Kloubec smashed 16 kills, and fourth-ranked Cedar Rapids Jefferson swept No. 13 Iowa City High (25-20, 25-11, 25-21) in a Class 5A volleyball regional final Monday night at Jefferson High School.
After ending a 20-year drought last fall, the J-Hawks (37-6) have made it back-to-back trips to the U.S. Cellular Center. They’ll face No. 5 Linn-Mar (31-9) in a first-round match at 2 p.m. next Tuesday.
The Lions swept Jefferson in the quarterfinals last year.
“The stage, the moment ... it got a little big for us,” Jefferson Coach Amy Norton said. “We’ll talk about that in the next few days, and we’ll be ready.”
They were ready Monday. They’ve been ready for this moment, and next week’s opportunity, for quite a while.
“As soon as last year was over, we were wanting to start again,” setter Maddy Baxter said. “We were just as hungry for this, even though it hadn’t been 20 years.”
City High (24-13) pushed the J-Hawks hard in the opening set. It was all square at 18-apiece before Jefferson made the decisive move.
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With the J-Hawks up 20-19, Kloubec and Maggie Peters smacked two kills apiece to get the host team to set point. Then, at 24-20, Baxter closed it out with a dump kill.
It got a little easier after that. Lindsey Culver had three kills and Cassidy Boche added two in a pivotal eight-point run that put the J-Hawks in control of Game 2, 14-5.
Game 3 was even at 13-13 before the J-Hawks pulled steadily away.
“They have so many weapons that you have to get to,” City High Coach Tricia Carty said. “We knew we had to serve aggressively, and we did in the first and third sets. Those were pretty good sets.”
Kloubec was effective all match, with four kills in the first set, five in the second, seven in the third.
“We saw the blocking matchups, and it looked like she had the easiest job to get the job done,” Baxter said.
Boche added seven kills, Culver six, Peyton Brokovich five. Baxter distributed 32 assists.
Kelsey Law was a game-time decision for City High. She did play, and led the Little Hawks with seven kills.
“We decided during warmups that she could give it a go, and though she wasn’t 100 percent, she gave it all she had,” Carty said.
CEDAR RAPIDS JEFFERSON 3, IOWA CITY HIGH 0 (25-20, 25-11, 25-21)
5A Regional Final, at C.R. Jefferson
Serving — City 50-54 (.926), Jefferson 66-73 (.904).
Aces — City 4 (Mackenzie Murphy 2), Jefferson 6 (Lindsey Culver 3).
Kills — City 24 (Kelsey Law 7), Jefferson 42 (Sydney Kloubec 16).
Assists — City 24 (Lindsey Bolton 10), Jefferson 40 (Maddy Baxter 32).
Blocks — City 4 (Murphy 2), Jefferson 8 (Bexter, Culver, Peyton Brokovich 2).
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