Prep Volleyball

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

Mount Vernon's Kameron Brand (9) celebrates a point with teammates during their Class 3A state quarterfinal match of the
Mount Vernon's Kameron Brand (9) celebrates a point with teammates during their Class 3A state quarterfinal match of the IGHSAU state volleyball tournament at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

The 2020 Iowa high school state volleyball tournament continued Tuesday with the last nine quarterfinal matches at Alliant Energy PowerHouse in Cedar Rapids.

Find final scores, stats, recaps, 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 roundup: Final scores, stats and more from 5A, 4A, 3A quarterfinals

Tuesday's state volleyball scores



No. 4 Davenport Assumption 3, No. 5 Unity Christian 1 (25-20, 17-25, 25-18, 25-22)

No five-setter this time. And no heartbreak.

Sophomore lefty A.J. Schubert swatted 20 kills — eight in the fourth set, and fourth-ranked Davenport Assumption took care of business in four sets.

“Definitely glad it didn’t go five,” Maggie Johnson said. “Assumption has always kind of struggled in the first round here.”

Last year, the Knights came to state as the top-ranked team and dropped a five-setter to Union Community. The year before, they went the distance with Osage and came up short at the end.

Assumption (23-2) has climbed that first-round barrier and will face No. 1 Osage (32-2) in a semifinal at 3 p.m. Wednesday. Osage swept No. 10 Humboldt in its first-rounder Monday night.

“This is a huge, huge win for us,” Schubert said. “We’re excited to see what the next match brings.”

Schubert brought plenty Tuesday. The 6-foot-1 right-side attacker averaged 4.4 kills per set this season, and bettered that rate. She ended the first set with a flurry as Assumption rallied from a 16-14 deficit. Her kill put the Knights in front for good at 18-17, then she added a block in the middle of a decisive six-point run.

Schubert kills accounted for Assumption’s final two points of the set,

Unity (23-6) squared the match, taking control with a seven-point surge for an 11-5 lead in Game 2. But Assumption controlled the third set and pulled away from a 19-19 deadlock in the fourth. Schubert’s 20th kill was match point.

— Jeff Linder


» Full storyBox score | Photo gallery


No. 3 Mount Vernon 3, No. 7 Union Community 1 (25-13, 25-14, 23-25, 25-15)

Mount Vernon has plenty of weapons at its disposal.

When they’re firing on all cylinders, the Mustangs are tough to defend.

Five players tallied at least seven kills in third-ranked Mount Vernon’s balanced attack that eliminated No. 7 Union Community, 25-13, 25-14, 23-25, 25-15, in the quarterfinals of the Class 3A state volleyball tournament Tuesday at Alliant Energy PowerHouse. The Mustangs eliminated the Knights for the second straight year and continue their title defense against No. 2 Clarion CGD in Wednesday’s semifinals at 3 p.m.

Mount Vernon Coach Maggie Willems doesn’t take the versatility for granted.

“That is the gift of this team,” Willems said. “You cannot just pick a single hitter to commit to. “I think that’s the hard thing about defending us. Our setter is great at distributing the ball evenly and you just don’t know who you are going to have to defend.”

Mount Vernon (31-6) is obviously powered by outside hitter Lauren Schrock. The University of Iowa recruit provided her normal contribution with a team-high 17 kills. Camryn Ellyson added 12, while Natalie Welch had nine. Sara Rhomberg and Madi Cranston finished with eight and seven, respectively.

“Everybody on our team can hit, even our back row players and setter,” Schrock said. “There isn’t one person I wouldn’t trust getting a kill. It’s really good to have all that in your tool box.”

Another future Hawkeye, setter Sydney Dennis had 45 assists. Rhomberg had a team-high three aces and was efficient with her attacks, converting on a .353 clip.

— K.J. Pilcher


» Full storyBox scorePhoto gallery



No. 1 Western Christian 3, South Hardin 1 (25-19, 25-27, 25-12, 25-10)

Before it could think about 20, Western Christian had to get away from zero.

Or, to be statistically correct, .000.

“You can’t hit .000 here and win,” Western Coach Tammi Veerbeek said. “Error, error, error. I told the team after the second set, ‘We’re the better team, but if we’re not going to play like it, we’re going to be done.’”

Instead, the top-ranked Wolfpack reversed course and handled tournament-newcomer South Hardin in four sets (25-19, 25-27, 25-12, 25-10) in a Class 2A quarterfinal at the state volleyball tournament Tuesday afternoon at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse.

“At the beginning, we were a little nervous,” said Western sophomore Abby Verburg, who smashed a match-high 16 kills. “Once we settled in, we played well.”

And when the Wolfpack play well, the result is usually predictable.

Western (33-9) advanced to the semifinals for the 20th consecutive year. Let that sink in. Twenty years in a row, the Wolfpack are among the last four teams standing.

“A lot of it is tradition,” Veerbeek said. “There are a lot of girls who dream of this moment, playing on this court.


“You have to have athletes that are willing to bust their butts. I’m not the one playing the game for them, and it’s not as if they come to me as juniors and seniors without ever playing before.”

— Jeff Linder

» Full story | Box scorePhoto gallery


No. 2 Wilton 3, No. 11 Van Meter 0 (25-13, 25-21, 25-13)

Wilton prefers the extended stay to an early exit.

After two years of first-round losses at the state volleyball tournament, the Beavers finally get to hang around for at least one more match.

Second-ranked Wilton made quick work of No. 11 Van Meter, earning a 25-12, 25-21, 25-13 sweep in the Class 2A quarterfinals Tuesday at Alliant Energy PowerHouse.

“I like being in this position,” Wilton junior Kelsey Drake said with a laugh. “The past two years we go home for the first night, so I’m happy we get to come right back.”

The Beavers returned all but one player from last season. They have been fueled by experience and motivation to improve the previous finishes.


“They have been very focused with this mind-set all year,” Wilton Coach Brenda Grunder said. “It’s really been on their minds. I appreciate that. They set a lot of goals. They set some high goals. We’ve been talking about this a lot.”

Wilton (33-3) wasted little time, jumping on state tournament newcomer Van Meter for an 8-1 lead. The Beavers followed with a 9-3 run to gain control and reached set point with a four-point run that included a Drake kill.

Van Meter challenged in the second set, exchanging leads and owning a 16-14 advantage. Wilton took over with a five-point rally and never looked back. Alexa Garvin’s kill capped the second.

Wilton overwhelmed Van Meter at the beginning of the third. Kills by Drake and junior Carly Puffer highlighted a 4-0 start. Puffer’s ace helped a six-point stretch that made it 12-3 as the Beavers cruised to the victory.

— K.J. Pilcher

» Full storyBox scorePhoto gallery


No. 3 Dike-New Hartford 3, No. 7 Sumner-Fredericksburg 0 (25-17, 25-12, 25-13)

The return was successful and dominant.

Dike-New Hartford experienced a year hiatus when a string of 12 straight state volleyball tournaments was snapped a year ago. This group of young Wolverines seemed right at home.


Third-ranked Dike-New Hartford swept No. 7 Sumner-Fredericksburg for the second time this season.

“We did a very good job,” Dike-New Hartford Coach Diane Harms said. “We did a good job defensively. Our serving got stronger as we went and our blocking started to pick up, too. Everyone did their jobs. They kept focus and composure and that was huge for us.”

Even though freshman Payton Petersen wasn’t on last season’s team, she was aware of how tough it was for the team not to qualify. They have worked hard to start a new streak.

“I knew that this year we wanted to get back,” Petersen said. “We were so excited to finally have this chance to get back to state and it’s unbelievable.”

The Wolverines never trailed the entire match. They demonstrated a knack for putting up points in a hurry with runs that forced Sumner-Fredericksburg to play catch up.

“Our main goal is to have energy,” Petersen said. “We feed off energy so much. We communicate more and that’s when we go on our big run. It’s so exciting.

“If you end in a good run, that carries over to the next set. We know we have to get that run and not them.”

They worked efficiently, earning kills at a .319 clip. Jadyn Petersen added eight kills, a team-high 12 digs and matched teammate Lexie Fager with three aces. Madelyn Norton had 33 assists.

— K.J. Pilcher


» Full storyBox score | Photo gallery


No. 6 Denver 3, No. 4 Boyden-Hull 1 (25-22, 11-25, 25-22, 26-24)

Say hello and become acquainted to the Denver Cyclones. Just another North Iowa Cedar League volleyball team.

Just another great NICL volleyball team, to be more specific.

The sixth-ranked Cyclones made a splash in their state-tournament debut, making all the right moves at the end of the three close sets and toppling No. 4 Boyden-Hull.

“We’re the first team in school history to get here, and we just said, ‘Let’s go out and give our all,’” Kayla Knowles said. “The best thing that come out of it is a state championship.”

The Cyclones (34-5) hail from the NICL East Division. There are nine teams in that division, and all of them were ranked in the final IGHSAU rankings.

“It’s one of the toughest conferences in Iowa,” Knowles said, accurately. “It’s competition, competition, competition. You can’t sleep on anybody.”

Alas, the Cyclones resembled state-tournament veterans, even if they were mere rookies.

Down 20-18 in the first set, they closed with a 7-2 run, capped by an ace by Allison Bonnette.


Boyden-Hull (24-8) seemed to be taking control after a rout in Game 2, but the Cyclones dug in again, scoring the final five points in the third set after trailing 22-20. Jessica Gergen’s block closed it out.

Then, in the finale, the Cyclones faced a 24-23 deficit, but strung together the final three points on another key Gergen block, another big Bonnette ace and a Boyden-Hull attack error.

— Jeff Linder

» Full storyBox score | Photo gallery



Council Bluffs St. Albert 3, No. 1 Janesville 1 (25-20, 25-18, 18-25, 26-24)

It’s anybody’s race now.

A fifth-set sprint staring it in the face, unranked Council Bluffs St. Albert assembled a seven-point scoring streak, erased five set points and shocked No. 1 Janesville.

“We didn’t have any pressure at all,” Saintes Coach Angie Lantz said. “We were under the radar, the No. 8 seed. Who expects an 8 seed to beat a 1?”

Very few. Did the Saintes?

Lantz paused.

“I knew we were going to battle,” she said, and that was all.

During the regular season, St. Albert (15-13) was the small fish in a big pond called the Hawkeye Ten Conference, a league filled with 4A and 3A programs. The Saintes played only one 1A opponent in the regular season, losing to Logan-Magnolia.

That schedule is paying off now.


“Our conference really prepares us,” said St. Albert’s Allie Petry, a 5-foot-6 hitter with a high vertical and a wicked swing. “We were expecting a Hawk Ten team out there.”

Janesville (28-5) appeared flat through the first two sets before asserting itself. The Wildcats scored the final six points of Game 3 to pull away, then held an 18-13 lead in the fourth set when setter Gabby Gergen went down with a minor leg injury.

The Wildcats still led 21-15 when Gergen returned, and they were on the brink of forcing a deciding set at 24-19. They had five shots at it.

Instead, Lauren Williams put down three kills and Petry added two as the Saintes stormed back.

— Jeff Linder

» Full storyBox score | Photo gallery


No. 4 Gladbrook-Reinbeck 3, No. 7 Springville 0 (25-9, 26-24, 25-11)

This wasn’t the time to reconstruct a rotation.

But the Springville Orioles had no choice. Thanks for nothing, COVID-19.

Saari Kuehl collected 19 kills, a good share of them from the back row, to lead fourth-ranked Gladbrook-Reinbeck to a Class 1A state quarterfinal sweep of the short-handed Orioles.

“Our whole team really brought it tonight,” Kuehl said. “We want to take this as far as we can.”


The pivotal moment of this one is glaring. Down 18-14 in the second set, No. 7 Springville (27-5) played its best ball of the night and gave itself a pair of set points at 24-22.

“We figured some things out and had a lot more energy,” Orioles setter Nia Howard said.

But the Orioles made two attack errors, Kuehl was money on her two attempts, and the set slipped away.

“We had a chance there, but we didn’t have what it takes to finish it off,” Springville’s Kennady Breitfelder said. “We brought the best we could.”

Normally an outside hitter, Breitfelder was moved to the middle Tuesday because normal starter Lily Clark was forced to stay home and quarantine, as was libero Grace Matus. Neither of them have the virus themselves.

After the second-set comeback, G-R scored the first 13 points in Game 3, and it was lights out.

— Jeff Linder

» Full storyBox score | Photo gallery



No. 3 Le Mars Gehlen 3, No. 11 New London 2 (25-19, 13-25, 25-18, 14-25, 15-12)

It contained all the stomach-churning thrills and dizzying turns of a roller coaster.

When things finally came to a stop, Le Mars Gehlen could exhale with some relief and hands raised in excitement.

The third-ranked Jays outlasted all the nerve-racking swells and drops and feisty No. 11 New London.

“I only enjoyed it because we won that fifth one,” Meyer said. “It was just ridiculous how up and down both teams were. The first, third and fifth game it was like we were a different team and the same for them.”

Gehlen suffer a first-round defeat a year ago. The Jays survived this seesaw affair, winning their first five-set match of the season.

“It’s really fun,” senior Rachel Langel said. “You play for five games and to come out on top definitely is one of the most rewarding things.”

The teams alternated sets with the match and advancement balancing on the final set. Like the rest, the teams managed the ebb and flow of momentum.

The Jays closed the fifth set with a 4-1 run, including two kills from Sitzmann and Lauren Heying, whose winner down the line ended it.

— K.J. Pilcher


» Full storyBox scorePhoto gallery


Live updates

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.