Prep Volleyball

North Tama volleyball's #RevengeTour hits the regional-semifinal stage

No. 5 Redhawks have 'a little chip on our shoulders'

North Tama players acknowledge their fans after their Class 1A state-quarterfinal loss in 2017. The Redhawks hope to return to state this year. They face Montezuma in a 1A regional semifinal Thursday at Traer. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
North Tama players acknowledge their fans after their Class 1A state-quarterfinal loss in 2017. The Redhawks hope to return to state this year. They face Montezuma in a 1A regional semifinal Thursday at Traer. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

What’s a good motto without a hashtag? Stopped in the regional-final round last year, the North Tama Redhawks are “playing with a little chip on our shoulders,” according to Coach Channing Halstead.

“We have six seniors, and I think they’ll do whatever they need to do to reach our ultimate goal.”

And thus, the Redhawks are treating their postseason march as their “revenge tour.” Or, if you prefer the social-media version: #RevengeTour.

The area’s highest-ranked small-school team all year, No. 5 North Tama (24-6) hosts Montezuma (20-16) in a Class 1A regional-semifinal volleyball match Thursday night at Traer.

It’s one of the top matches in the area as the 1A and 2A tournaments reach the regional-semifinal stage. The Redhawks are one of three area ranked teams in action Thursday. No. 9 Lisbon (35-7) hosts Clinton Prince of Peace (22-16) in another 1A battle, and No. 3 Dyersville Beckman (38-8) hosts MFL MarMac (15-11) in a 2A encounter.

All matches begin at 7 p.m., and all winners advance to Tuesday’s regional finals, where they will play for state berths.

North Tama reached the state tournament in 2017, then was tripped by Gladbrook-Reinbeck when it got to the doorstep last year.

The Redhawks have beaten Montezuma once this season, 21-12, 21-12.

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“We’re not overlooking anybody,” Halstead said. “We’ve learned from our experiences the last couple of years.

“We haven’t even brought up the ‘S’ word.”

Top hitter Katie Kopriva has been slowed a bit by injuries, her back in August, and her ankle more recently. Still, Kopriva leads the team in kills, at 3.77 per set.

“We rely on her a lot,” Halstead said.

Lisbon continues pursuit of its first state-tournament berth against a team it has handled twice.

“Both times, we serve-received well against them,” Lions Coach Lance Kamaus said. “To have a similar result (Thursday), our serve-receive has to be of the same high quality. If we don’t serve-receive well, we can’t run the tempo we want to run, and we like to run pretty quick.”

Like North Tama, Lisbon has a senior-oriented nucleus, led by Maysun Marshall (3.54 kills per set) and setter McKenna Nelson (9.04 assists per set).

Beckman is favored to emerge from its regional behind Jada Wills, who leads 2A in kill efficiency (.467).

Thursday's Class 2A regional semifinals

All matches 7 p.m.

Region 6

Louisa-Muscatine (15-12) at Mediapolis (40-1)

Iowa City Regina (7-28) at Hudson (29-7)

Region 7

MFL MarMac (15-11) at Dyersville Beckman (38-8)

South Hardin (15-13) at Denver (26-14)

Region 8

North Cedar (21-19) at Wilton (33-3)

West Branch (20-15) at Cascade (23-10)

 

Thursday's Class 1A regional semifinals

All matches 7 p.m.

Region 4

Montezuma (20-16) at North Tama (24-6)

Grand View Christian (22-20) at Conrad BCLUW (22-14)

Region 6

West Central (20-12) at Wapsie Valley (21-15)

Edgewood-Colesburg (26-9) at Tripoli (17-20)

Region 7

Clinton Prince of Peace (22-16) at Lisbon (35-7)

Springville (18-16) at Belle Plaine (27-12)

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

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