MARION — All you needed to know came from Teresa Bair’s mouth.
“We got beat by a much better team,” said Bair, volleyball coach at Linn-Mar.
“They’re much more aggressive than us. They handle out-of-system balls better than us. And they’ve got more girls that can terminate than we do.”
Class 5A fourth-ranked Cedar Rapids Jefferson avenged a 2017 state-quarterfinal loss to Linn-Mar, downing the fifth-rated Lions in four sets (25-19, 25-14, 22-25, 25-13) in an MVC Valley Division showdown Tuesday night at Linn-Mar High School.
“We were so motivated,” Jefferson setter Maddy Baxter said. “Ever since they beat us last year at state, we’ve been ready to get back on the floor and redeem ourselves.”
Jefferson’s bread and butter is its defensive game, but the J-Hawks (16-3 overall, 3-0 division) can hit, too. Sydney Kloubec slammed 19 kills to lead Jefferson to a 57-32 advantage in that department.
The top four leaders in kills all wore blue. Peyton Brokovich, Lindsey Culver and Cassidy Boche added 12, 11 and nine, respectively.
Brokovich and Boche have seen their production rise dramatically this season.
“They’ve made tremendous progress,” Jefferson libero Kaylee Donner said. “If we can get the ball up, we’ve got the options to put it down.”
Linn-Mar (15-6, 2-1) was right with the J-Hawks early, leading the first set, 16-15. But Brokovich and Boche ignited a 10-3 Jefferson run to end the opener, then the J-Hawks sprinted to a 15-5 advantage in Game 2.
Jefferson was more error-prone in the third set, then turned on the jets again in Game 4, storming to a 12-3 advantage and coasting from there.
The J-Hawks’ three losses this season have come to the three teams ranked ahead of them — defending 5A champion Cedar Falls, Ankeny Centennial and West Des Moines Valley.
Baxter collected 50 assists for the winners.
Sophomore Allison Feigenbaum led Linn-Mar with seven kills.
CEDAR RAPIDS JEFFERSON 3, LINN-MAR 1 (25-19, 25-14, 22-25, 25-13)
Serving — Jefferson 86-96 (.896), Linn-Mar 65-72 (.903).
Aces — Jefferson 7 (Maddy Baxter, Lindsey Culver, Kaylee Donner 2), Linn-Mar 5 (Megan Renner, Tori Niemeyer 2).
Kills — Jefferson 57 (Sydney Kloubec 19), Linn-Mar 32 (Allison Feigenbaum 7).
Assists — Jefferson 56 (Baxter 50), Linn-Mar 30 (Renner 14).
Blocks — Jefferson 9 (Peyton Brokovich 3), Linn-Mar 4 (Anna Gorsich 2).
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