CEDAR RAPIDS — The gap between Dike-New Hartford and the rest of the Class 2A state-tournament field proved to be wide.
The only real debate is this:
Which is brighter? The Wolverines’ tradition? Or their immediate future?
Third-ranked DNH swept its third consecutive match of the week, dropping No. 6 Denver, 25-13, 25-12, 25-15, for the 2A state volleyball championship Thursday night at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse.
Now, that’s an answer after a rare tournament absence last year.
“Any time you get down here, it’s an awesome feeling,” DNH Coach Diane Harms said. “Our girls just keep fighting and finding ways to be successful.”
The Wolverines (32-4) didn’t face much adversity in their three matches here. In only one of their nine sets did their opponent score in the 20s.
“We were fired up and determined, and brought a lot of energy,” said freshman Payton Petersen, named the all-tournament captain after a 17-kill, 10-dig performance.
The title is the 14th for Dike-New Hartford (including five for Dike). Barb Bakker won seven, and now so has Harms.
Don’t be surprised if this is the start of a title string. The Wolverines’ starting lineup consists of three juniors, two sophomores and two freshmen.
The youth certainly didn’t hamper the team this season.
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“They’ve all played a lot of volleyball and have good volleyball IQs,” Harms said.
Petersen’s twin, Jadyn Petersen (eight kills) also made the all-tournament team along with DNH sophomore Madelyn Norton (39 assists). Joining them were Allison Bonnette and Reese Johnson of Denver, Kelsey Drake of Wilton and Stella Winterfeld of Western Christian.
Denver (35-6) is a North Iowa Cedar League rival of DNH and had only one senior starter. The Cyclones were making their state-tournament debut.
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