CENTER POINT — As far as area prep volleyball rivalries go, the Wamac Conference has a doozy in Center Point-Urbana and Independence.
Last season, CPU downed Indee twice on its way to a Wamac West Division title. When it came time for the state-qualifying regional matchup, the Mustangs turned the tables with a resounding sweep.
“Oh, I think it’s really cool to have a team that you go out against and every night you know it’s going to be a good match,” said Indee senior Madison Larson, who posted a match-high 20 kills as the the Class 4A seventh-ranked Mustangs defeated 3A No. 12 CPU, 30-28, 21-25, 25-17, 25-21, in the Wamac opener for both schools Thursday night at CPU High School. “I know some of the girls on the other side. I play club with them. It’s really fun.”
Independence (6-2, 1-0 Wamac) was on its heels early in Game 1. Trailing 20-9, the Mustangs rallied with 15 of 18 points and claimed the opener, 30-28. After CPU (1-2, 0-1) evened the match at a game apiece, Indee used a 9-3 surge to get some distance in the third game, then a 10-2 burst in the clincher and vanquished the Stormin’ Pointers.
“These girls just have a lot of heart,” Indee Coach Joe Schmitz said. “They kept fighting and they finally started to get their legs underneath them a little bit and they started to get more confidence in themselves. That wasn’t the start we were hoping for, but they really gathered themselves and came back. That was an incredible win.”
Senior Holly Cooksley led Indee with 47 assists and added seven kills, while senior libero Sydney Hearn posted 29 digs and three ace serves.
Larson ended the match with an emphatic block.
“It’s incredible,” said Larson, a Division-II Winona State (Minn.) commit and first team all-state selection last season. “I think (the win) is really going to help us because at the beginning of the season we were supposed to be really good, but can we play to our full potential? That, out there, that was something.”
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Wake Forest commit Delaney McSweeney — a 6-foot-6 senior — led CPU with 15 kills and five blocks, while senior Morgan Husmann added 35 assists. Senior Rylee Clark notched 26 digs for CPU, which now competes in 3A.
Indee visits Williamsburg on Tuesday, while CPU will be in action on Saturday at the Mount Vernon Invitational.
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