Prep Volleyball

Janesville sweeps Tripoli in state volleyball semifinals

Wildcats one win away from fourth straight title

The Janesville bench reacts to a point against Tripoli during a Class 1A semifinal at the 2018 Girls' High School State Volleyball Tournament at the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, November 8, 2018. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
The Janesville bench reacts to a point against Tripoli during a Class 1A semifinal at the 2018 Girls' High School State Volleyball Tournament at the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, November 8, 2018. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — There is little chance top-ranked Janesville will take Friday’s state volleyball title match for granted.

The three-time defending Class 1A champions have a senior class that has known nothing but success at the state tournament.

Now, they are one match away from a perfect state career after an impressive 25-11, 25-21 25-12 win over No. 6 Tripoli on Thursday night in the semifinals.

Bree Thompson is one of six seniors on the roster who has never lost a set, let alone a match during their fantastic run. That is a source of tremendous pride for that group.

“It means a lot to me, always have my teammates’ backs,” she said. “It’s just a really fun experience to go out there with my teammates who I’ve been together with for so long. It is just really cool.”

Tripoli, which closes at 24-16, took a set earlier in the season from its Iowa Star Conference rival. Thompson said the team took notice of that.

“We realized that they are a good team,” she said. “We thought if we came out with a bang, we could beat them in three,” said Thompson, who finished with 20 kills in 31 attempts.”

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Game 2 was close most of the way before Janesville pulled away late. The Wildcats (44-6) jumped to an 11-1 lead in Game 3 and never looked back.

“The end goal has kept us motivated,” Thompson said. “We’ve known what we wanted to accomplish since summer workouts.”

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