Prep Volleyball

Iowa state volleyball tournament 2020: Monday's scores, stats and more

The 2020 Iowa high school state volleyball tournament began Monday with 10 quarterfinal matches at Alliant Energy PowerHouse in Cedar Rapids.

Find box scores, photo galleries and complete coverage here.

State volleyball coverage

» Brackets: Pairings and schedules for all 5 classes

» Predictions: The Gazette’s match-by-match tournament picks

» Area teams: Meet the 7 Gazette area qualifiers

» Feature: Mount Vernon’s Ryan family volleyball dynasty is about to pause, but not necessarily end

» Coronavirus: Volleyball players, and COVID-19 concerns, descend on Cedar Rapids

Monday's state volleyball scores


No. 1 West Des Moines Dowling 3, No. 8 Dubuque Hempstead 1 (23-25, 25-15, 25-17, 25-17)

Getting here, that’s been the easy part for the Dowling Maroons.

Winning here ... that’s another matter.


“It’s been a while,” senior hitter Olivia Nahas said. “It’s good to move on to the second round.”

Top-ranked West Des Moines Dowling spotted No. 8 Dubuque Hempstead the first set, then rolled through the next three to advance from Monday’s Class 5A state volleyball quarterfinal, 23-25, 25-15, 25-17, 25-17, at Alliant Energy PowerHouse.

Dowling (22-2) is making its ninth consecutive appearance. After a runner-up finish in 2013, the Maroons dropped their next six first-round matches.

But not this one.

Nahas recorded 17 kills, Emerson Thelen added 14, and the Maroons (22-2) march on.

— Jeff Linder

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No. 2 Ankeny 3, No. 7 Ankeny Centennial 1 (22-25, 25-12, 25-18, 25-17)

No. 2 Ankeny had the resume and the past results.

What it didn’t have was a great amount of state volleyball tournament experience. That showed a bit in the first set of Monday’s Class 5A state quarterfinal against Ankeny Centennial at Alliant Energy PowerHouse.

Centennial took the first game, but the Hawkettes (21-2) rebounded for a 22-25, 25-12, 25-18, 25-17 victory over No. 7 Centennial (16-11), advancing to a 10 a.m. Wednesday semifinal matchup against the winner of No. 3 Pleasant Valley and No. 6 Cedar Falls.


“We were here last year, but we lost eight seniors from that team,” said veteran Ankeny Coach Dave Whims. “A lot of these girls hadn’t experienced anything like this.”

Fortunately for Whims and the Hawkettes, he had a couple of seniors who had been at state. Notre Dame recruit Phyona Schrader and McKenna Scheib helped the Hawks regroup.

“Phyona and McKenna put things on their shoulders and took over,” Whims said. “They stepped up their games and I think that helped the others relax.”

Schrader and Scheib each finished with 12 kills. Schrader also finished with 38 assists. She said it helped opening against an in-town rival.

— Mike Condon

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No. 5 Iowa City Liberty 3, No. 4 West Des Moines Valley 1 (25-20, 20-25, 25-17, 26-24)

The climb continues. And there’s no reason to believe Iowa City Liberty has peaked yet.


Just a fourth-year program, fifth-ranked Liberty ascended to a new height Monday afternoon, topping No. 4 West Des Moines Valley, 25-20, 20-25, 25-17, 26-24, in a Class 5A quarterfinal at the state volleyball tournament Monday afternoon at Alliant Energy PowerHouse.

Welcome to the land of the elite.

“That first year, we didn’t know what we were getting into, so it was ‘let’s play for fun,’” senior libero Addie Schmierer said. “The second year, we wanted to win 20 matches.

“Last year, we wanted to get to the state tournament, and this year, we want to win a state championship.”

At this point, heck, why not?

“If you go into coaching and you don’t have goals, you probably shouldn’t be coaching at the high school level,” Coach Randy Dolson said.

The Lightning clinched their first-round win by rallying from a 20-13 deficit in the fourth set.

Sophomore Cassidy Hartman had three kills and Lauren Roman collected two blocks as the Lightning battled back to tie it, 24-24, then Schmierer capped the rally with back-to-back aces.

— Jeff Linder

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No. 3 Pleasant Valley 3, No. 3 Cedar Falls 1 (20-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-23)

There will be a new state Class 5A volleyball champion in 2020.

Cedar Falls started out like a team determined to defend its title in Monday’s Class 5A quarterfinal match with Pleasant Valley.

The No. 3 Spartans (21-1) quickly flipped the script, but it certainly wasn’t easy. Coach Amber Hall’s team saved some of its biggest moments for the end of each of the final three sets to oust No. 6 Cedar Falls, 20-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-23 at Alliant Energy PowerHouse.

Junior setter Cora Ruff, one of three returning starters from last year’s state semifinal team, didn’t think the Spartans were ready at the start. They fell behind 18-9 in Game 1 and weren’t able to overcome that deficit.

“We definitely did not come out with a lot of energy,” Ruff said. “We had them scouted pretty well, but we didn’t do a very good job of following that scouting report in the first set.

“I think we had some nerves too and that showed. (Cedar Falls) had a lot of fans and I think that bothered us, too. I think in the second set, we just did a better job of playing our game.”

The difference came down to the Spartans getting a big point when it mattered most. And when Pleasant Valley needed a big swing, senior Emily Wood was the one coming through much of the time. She finished with 19 kills.

— Mike Condon

» Full storyBox scorePhoto gallery




No. 1 Cedar Rapids Xavier 3, Dallas Center-Grimes 0 (25-20, 25-14, 25-11)

There were no lulls. No going through the motions.

And no doubt.

Showing a collective fire and hunger that has been elusive at times this season, top-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier needed only 65 minutes to sideline Dallas Center-Grimes, 25-20, 25-14, 25-11, in a Class 4A quarterfinal at the state volleyball tournament Monday afternoon at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse.

“It’s a mental game, not a physical game with us,” senior Eve Magill said. “We have a lot of tall girls that can hit, but we needed to work on our mental game.

“Our defense has gotten a lot better, and that makes you a lot more comfortable when you swing. That’s what wins games.”

Xavier (24-6), making its fifth consecutive trip here, attacked from all angles Monday. Elyse Winter had one of the best matches of her high school career, notching 11 kills and hitting .476. She matched Maya Karl for team kill honors.

“(Winter) was phenomenal today,” Xavier Coach Austin Filer said. “She didn’t have any serve-receive errors, and she swung well. Just phenomenal today, and she has been for the last three or four matches.”

Winter said, “Everybody stepped up today. The passes were there, and Jazmine (Yamilkoski) got me some amazing balls to hit.”


Katy Garrison added 10 kills and Magill pounded nine without an error in 16 swings. Yamilkoski dished out 39 assists, and the Saints posted a .344 kill efficiency.

— Jeff Linder

» Full storyBox score | Photo gallery


No. 10 Gilbert 3, No. 3 North Scott 0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-21)

There doesn’t seem to be much right now that can slow down the Gilbert volleyball team.

Not the No. 2 team in the state, not losing two players to COVID-19, and, on Monday without those two players, the No. 3 team in Class 4A.

After sweeping No. 2 Waverly-Shell Rock in the regional finals, the Tigers (27-9) kept it going in their state quarterfinal match, rolling past No. 3 North Scott, 25-19, 25-14, 25-21 at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse.

Gilbert Coach Nessa Johnson was forced to make some quick adjustments when two players, including one of her two setters (Taylor Grinley), were diagnosed with COVID-19 after the regional final win over Waverly-Shell Rock.

“Lucky for us that we run a 6-2,” she said. “So when we lose the other setter, we have somebody who can step in. It has been a little bit of an adjustment going from a 6-2 to a 5-1 offense, but a lot of the girls play this in the offseason, so they are used to a 5-1.”


The “other setter” who had to step up was Johnson’s daughter Nessa. The 5-foot-10 senior finished with 22 assists, eight kills and 10 digs.

“We had a lot of adversity to overcome,” said Nessa Johnson. “We had to move our lineup around. Coming together and wanting this more than anything has helped us get through.”

It also helped to have senior Thea Rotto at the top of her game. The 5-11 hitter had a match-high 16 kills, several coming from the back row.

— Mike Condon

» Full storyBox score | Photo gallery


No. 5 Western Dubuque 3, No. 6 Sergeant Bluff-Luton 2 (25-13, 19-25, 20-25, 25-15, 15-11)

That laugher of a first set was a distant memory. A harsh reality was setting in.

“It really hit us after the third set that it was now or never,” Western Dubuque setter Madison Maahs said.


Fifth-ranked Western Dubuque opted for “now” and rallied past No. 6 Sergeant Bluff-Luton in a five-set Class 4A state volleyball quarterfinal Monday evening at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse.

The Bobcats (25-10) broke a 7-7 tie in the final set with a 6-1 run, and advanced to Wednesday’s semifinal round.

The Bobcats rolled through the first set Monday before the defending champions from Sergeant Bluff-Luton (23-7) flipped the momentum.

“We needed to make sure we were playing our volleyball,” Bobcats Coach Megan Scherrman said. “The second and third sets, we were playing a lot of defense against their offense.”

As abruptly as SBL took control, Western Dubuque took it back.

With the fourth set tied, 5-5, the Bobcats scored seven straight points. The run was highlighted by back-to-back aces from Ella Meyer.

Western Dubuque followed with a pair of five-point runs in the set and was never threatened.

SBL made three errors in the Bobcats’ decisive push in the fifth set. Meredith Bahl had two kills in the run, Maddie Harris one.

Harris added another kill to get Western Dubuque to match point at 14-9. After the Warriors erased two potential match-enders, an errant serve clinched it.

Meg Besler led Western Dubuque with 13 kills. Libby Lansing was outstanding out of the middle, adding 12 kills and posting a .458 efficiency.

— Jeff Linder


» Full storyBox score | Photo gallery


No. 8 West Delaware 3, No. 4 Glenwood 2 (25-17, 24-26, 20-25, 25-22, 16-14)

A fast tempo got West Delaware to the state volleyball tournament.

When Glenwood caught on to that tempo during Monday night’s Class 4A quarterfinal matchup at Alliant Energy PowerHouse, the Hawks stuck to their plan.

“Tempo is created by passion,” said West Delaware Coach Brett Mather. “We stuck with it and I think in the end it was the deciding factor for us.”

The Hawks were able to rally from a 2-1 deficit and post a 25-17, 24-26, 20-25, 25-22, 16-14 victory, earning a return trip to the semifinals.

“We just kind of persevered there,” Mather said. “The whole difference in that match was a couple of points. Both teams really played their hearts out, no doubt about that.”

West Delaware led most of the fifth game, only to see Glenwood make a final charge. The Rams fought off three match points to tie score at 14, but the Hawks got the final two, the clincher coming on a kill from Jaci Bries.


Alivia Schulte led the Hawks with 23 kills. Ava Hauser and Bries had 16 apiece. Carlee Smith had 61 assists. Schulte also had 24 digs.

— Mike Condon

» Full storyBox score | Photo gallery



No. 1 Osage 3, No. 10 Humboldt 0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-11)

Make a play, pay the price.

Such is life as a member of the Osage Green Devils.

The result of a kill is more than just a point. More often than not, the attacker gets attacked with a not-so-light shove from a teammate or two.

“We came up with it to create more energy,” Claudia Aschenbrenner said. “We started it in club volleyball, and it translated here.”

Love shoves were frequent in Monday’s Class 3A quarterfinal at the state volleyball tournament; top-ranked Osage swept No. 10 Humboldt, 25-16, 25-20, 25-11, at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse.

“Everybody loves it,” Paige Kisley said. “It’s our way of telling somebody that they just did something really good.”


The Green Devils (32-2) needed a big push — and the resulting shoves — in the first two sets, rolled in the third, and advanced.

Danielle Johnson led the Green Devils with 13 kills, Aschenbrenner added 12 (six in the first set), and Kisley collected 11. That boosted Osage to a 48-25 advantage in kills, and lots and lots of shoves.

— Jeff Linder

» Full storyBox score | Photo gallery


No. 2 Clarion CGD 3, No. 9 Red Oak 0 (25-13, 25-22, 25-19)

Simply put, it was too much Morgan Middleton for Red Oak.

The Clarion CGD senior hitter pounded home 23 kills, including 11 alone in the first set as the No. 2 Cowgirls posted a 25-13, 25-22, 25-19 win over No. 9 Red Oak in a Class 3A state quarterfinal on Monday night at Alliant Energy Power House.

“We started out real strong with our serve receive and our passing,” Middleton said. “(Setter) Alaina (Friesleben) did a great job of setting the ball up and did a good job when (Red Oak) started shifting their defense.”

Understandably, the Tigers started shifting their defense to cover Middleton’s power. CGD Coach Katrina TerHark credited her team with adjusting and looking for other hitters.


“I thought our whole team came out and played really well from the start,” she said. “Being here before really helped us.

“Once Morgan got off to that good start, they started cheating their block toward here. We talked to Alaina and told her to continue mixing things up and Kendall (Lienemann), our other outside, had an outstanding night.”

Lienemann finished with 11 kills.

— Mike Condon

» Full storyBox scorePhoto gallery


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