CEDAR RAPIDS — They’ve already undergone a season’s worth of adversity. Now, the Jefferson J-Hawks are trying to figure out their new normal and rediscover themselves.
“Tonight was about finding what our identity is going to be, and how we’re going to play,” Coach Amy Norton said.
Class 5A third-ranked Cedar Rapids Jefferson was error-laden early, dominant late and victorious over Cedar Rapids Kennedy, 25-20, 26-24, 25-10, in an MVC Valley Division volleyball match Tuesday night at Kennedy High School.
The J-Hawks (4-2 overall, 1-0 division) were down two starters — defensive specialist Raya George is out for the season with a torn ACL and meniscus, and outside hitter Lindsey Culver (sprained ankle) is expected to return relatively soon.
“Everybody else knew they had to step up,” said Sydney Kloubec, who was at her best as the J-Hawks stormed back from an early deficit in the second set. “We still have a great team.”
Kloubec registered 16 kills, 10 in Game 2, allowing the J-Hawks to came back from a 10-4 disadvantage. The set was tied at 21, 22, 23 and 24, then, at set point, Maddy Baxter’s free-ball bump was not handled and dropped to the floor.
The finale, then, was a rout. For one point in the last set, only five players were on the floor.
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Jefferson was burdened by mistakes in the first set, but still managed to break free at the end. Cassidy Boche, who is starting in Culver’s spot for the time being, had three kills in a five-point surge as the J-Hawks pulled away from a 19-18 edge.
Boche added nine kills, and Jefferson rang up a 43-15 kill advantage on the Cougars (3-2, 0-1).
Maddy Baxter distributed 34 assists for Jefferson.
Katie Jensen had four kills and two aces for Kennedy.
“There aren’t going to be any easy nights in our division,” Norton said. “Kennedy is a lot better this year. But we came along in the third set and settled in."
CEDAR RAPIDS JEFFERSON 3, CEDAR RAPIDS KENNEDY 0 (25-20, 26-24, 25-10)
At C.R. Kennedy
Serving — Jefferson 67-74 (.905), Kennedy 52-56 (.929).
Aces — Jefferson 11 (Kyleigh Baker 4), Kennedy 4 (Laila Sain, Katie Jensen 2).
Kills — Jefferson 43 (Sydney Kloubec 16), Kennedy 15 (Jensen 4).
Assists — Jefferson 39 (Maddy Baxter 34), Kennedy 15 (Abby Feldmann 14).
Blocks — Jefferson 3 (Peyton Brokovich 2), Kennedy 4 (four with 1).
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