Prep Volleyball

Volleyball notebook: For Iowa City Liberty, life 'under the radar' has ended

Early win over Xavier has propelled the Lightning to a 6-0 start

Iowa City Liberty players celebrate a point during their win over Iowa City West on Tuesday at North Liberty. Liberty is 6-0. (Ben Roberts/Freelance)
Iowa City Liberty players celebrate a point during their win over Iowa City West on Tuesday at North Liberty. Liberty is 6-0. (Ben Roberts/Freelance)

Randy Dolson misplaced his cellphone Saturday, leaving it on the bus on the way home from Charles City.

“Yeah, I was concerned about the kids leaving something behind, and it happened it me,” said the Iowa City Liberty volleyball coach.

That’s all the Lightning have lost so far.

Ignited by an opening-night road win at Cedar Rapids Xavier, Liberty is off to a 6-0 start. The Class 5A ninth-ranked Lightning won all four of their matches at Charles City, then swept Iowa City West in their MVC Valley Division opener Tuesday.

“I was hoping we could stay under the radar for a while, but I guess that’s not going to happen,” Dolson said.

Liberty is in its third year of operation, and Dolson has been in charge of its volleyball program from the start.

“You could see early on from our youth camps that we had talent coming up, but you never know how it’s going to develop,” he said. “We have some highly talented freshmen (Cassidy Hartmann and Shelby Kimm) that are playing a lot, and it allows us to do some things we hadn’t been able to do in the past.”

Hartmann (.436 kill efficiency) is second on the team in kills to senior Lee Ann Potter, a three-year starter who averages 2.64 kills per set.

With the arrival of setter Rylee Fay, a Missouri State University commit and a transfer from Iowa City West, Dolson has implemented a 6-2 offense that allowed Fay and incumbent setter Haley Hested to share time running the team.

“I thought maybe we’d stay with a 5-1 and those two would battle for one spot, but we had enough hitters that were pounding the ball, that a 6-2 made sense ... six hitters, two setters and a libero,” he said.

Liberty off until Tuesday, when it hosts Cedar Rapids Kennedy.

Wamac, River Valley open

Divisional races in the Wamac and River Valley conferences begin Thursday, highlighted by a Wamac East showdown — Class 4A third-ranked West Delaware (4-1) at 3A No. 1 Mount Vernon (2-0).

Junior Lauren Schrock collected 28 kills in the Mustangs’ two wins last Thursday against Clear Creek Amana and Center Point-Urbana, and her 7.00 kills per set ranks third in the state. Camryn Ellyson adds 2.75 kills per set and a .526 kill efficiency.

West Delaware was the runner-up at the Independence tournament Saturday, dropping a three-setter to Union Community in the final. The Hawks are led by all-state setter Macey Kleitsch.

Milestone for Eileen Bergan

Edgewood-Colesburg Coach Eileen Bergan earned her 500th career win Saturday at the Easton Valley tournament.

Bergan has coached 28 seasons, all at Ed-Co, and owns a career mark of 500-348. The Vikings were 25-11 and reached the Class 1A regional finals last season.

This year’s team is 3-2.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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