Prep Volleyball

Cedar Falls stays unbeaten, repeats as MVC volleyball champion

Crucial non-point in 2nd set of championship match hurts Jefferson

Cedar Falls Tigers
Cedar Falls Tigers

WATERLOO — Maybe it wouldn’t have mattered anyway.

According to Maddy Baxter, it shouldn’t have mattered anyway.

“We had a big enough lead, we should have been all right,” Baxter said. “We should have stayed out front.”

She paused.

“But this stings a little.”

A point that went unscored came back to bite Class 5A fourth-ranked Cedar Rapids Jefferson in the second set, and No. 1 Cedar Falls prevailed, 25-15, 26-24 to capture its second straight Mississippi Valley Conference volleyball tournament championship Saturday at Fred J. Miller Gymnasium, East High School.

The defending 5A state champions, the Tigers ran their record to 42-0, extending their winning streak to 71 matches dating back to last season. And Saturday’s mild controversy takes nothing away from their excellence.

Jefferson (35-6) appeared well on its way to squaring the match at a set apiece, leading Game 2, 17-8. Cedar Falls scored three straight points to make it 17-11 before Cassidy Boche’s kill appeared to give the J-Hawks a sideout point.

The tally didn’t make it to the official scorekeeper’s sheet, nor to the scoreboard, despite the pleading of co-coach Will Norton.

“It took the wind out of our sails a little,” Jefferson co-coach Amy Norton said. “But what I’m really proud of is our comeback at the end.”

Cedar Falls continued its surge and took a 19-18 lead before the teams went back and forth. Peyton Brokovich’s kill got the J-Hawks even at 24-24 — or should it have been 25-24?

A kill by Alayna Yates and a block by McKenna Gleason wrapped up the win for the Tigers.

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Cedar Falls hadn’t even dropped a set this season before Saturday, but Waterloo West got one in pool play, then 5A No. 5 Linn-Mar grabbed one in the semifinals — a 25-20, 21-25, 15-9 Tigers verdict.

Linn-Mar (29-9) swept its way through pool play, then outlasted 4A No. 2 Cedar Rapids Xavier (25-8) in the quarterfinals, 20-25, 25-14, 15-12, scoring the final five points.

“It shows how far we’ve come mentally,” Linn-Mar’s Megan Renner said. “We’re overcoming some mental roadblocks now.”

Jefferson rolled through morning action, then fought through a pair of three-setters — over Dubuque Hempstead (27-29, 25-10, 15-8) and Dubuque Wahlert (25-14, 23-25, 15-12) — to reach the championship match. But, for the second straight year, Cedar Falls foiled the J-Hawks’ title bid.

Mississippi Valley Conference Tournament

At Waterloo East & West

Pool A

Teams — 1. Cedar Falls 3-0, 2. Dubuque Hempstead 2-1, 3. C.R. Prairie 1-2, 4. Waterloo West 0-3.

Cedar Falls def. Dubuque Hempstead, 21-7, 21-15

Cedar Falls def. C.R. Prairie, 21-11, 21-13

Cedar Falls def. Waterloo West, 19-21, 21-7, 15-6

Dubuque Hempstead def. C.R. Prairie, 15-21, 21-15, 15-8

Dubuque Hempstead def. Waterloo West, 21-16, 21-14

C.R. Prairie def. Waterloo West, 21-11, 16-21, 15-12

Pool B

Teams — 1. C.R. Jefferson 3-0, 2. C.R. Kennedy 2-1, 3. Iowa City High 1-2, 4. Waterloo East 0-3.

C.R. Jefferson def. Iowa City High, 21-12, 21-11

C.R. Jefferson def. C.R. Kennedy, 21-8, 21-12

C.R. Jefferson def. Waterloo East, 21-14, 21-5

C.R. Kennedy def. Iowa City High, 21-12, 21-17

C.R. Kennedy def. Waterloo East, 21-14, 21-12

Iowa City High def. Waterloo East, 21-9, 21-13

Pool C

Teams — 1. Dubuque Wahlert 3-0, 2. C.R. Xavier 2-1, 3. Iowa City West 1-2, 4. C.R. Washington 0-3.

Dubuque Wahlert def. C.R. Xavier, 16-21, 21-17, 15-13

Dubuque Wahlert def. C.R. Washington, 21-14, 21-14

Dubuque Wahlert def. Iowa City West, 21-18, 21-18

C.R. Xavier def. C.R. Washington, 21-14, 21-9

C.R. Xavier def. Iowa City West, 21-12, 19-21, 18-16

Iowa City West def. C.R. Washington, 21-13, 21-17

Pool D

Teams — 1. Linn-Mar 3-0, 2. Western Dubuque 2-1, 3. Iowa City Liberty 1-2, 4. Dubuque Senior 0-3.

Linn-Mar def. Western Dubuque, 21-13, 21-15

Linn-Mar def. Iowa City Liberty, 21-15, 21-16

Linn-Mar def. Dubuque Senior, 21-8, 21-14

Western Dubuque def. Iowa City Liberty, 25-27, 21-18, 15-13

Western Dubuque def. Dubuque Senior, 21-17, 21-7

Iowa City Liberty def. Dubuque Senior, 21-15, 21-14

Consolation Quarterfinals

C.R. Prairie def. Waterloo East, 27-25, 25-18

Iowa City Liberty def. C.R. Washington, 25-13, 25-16

Iowa City High def. Waterloo West, 29-27, 25-20

Iowa City West def. Dubuque Senior, 25-17, 25-23

Consolation Semifinals

C.R. Prairie def. Iowa City Liberty, 27-25, 25-19

Iowa City High def. Iowa City West, 26-24, 25-19

Consolation Final

Iowa City High def. C.R. Prairie, 25-12, 25-20

Quarterfinals

Cedar Falls def. C.R. Kennedy, 25-12, 25-8

Linn-Mar def. C.R. Xavier, 20-25, 25-14, 15-12

C.R. Jefferson def. Dubuque Hempstead, 27-29, 25-10, 15-8

Dubuque Wahlert def. Western Dubuque, 25-21, 25-20

Semifinals

Cedar Falls def. Linn-Mar, 25-20, 21-25, 15-9

C.R. Jefferson def. Dubuque Wahlert, 25-14, 23-25, 15-12

Championship

Cedar Falls def. C.R. Jefferson, 25-15, 26-24

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

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