CEDAR RAPIDS — There were no decisions to second-guess, no moments or actions to regret.
The truth for the Mount Vernon Mustangs was simple: Osage was better.
“They played amazing,” Mount Vernon’s Lauren Schrock said. “We expected them to be amazing, and I don’t think we responded to it the way we wanted.”
Osage put its foot on the collective gas pedal the moment it left the parking lot, and left it there all match. The top-ranked Green Devils dethroned No. 3 Mount Vernon with precision and gusto, 25-6, 25-17, 25-20, for the Class 3A state volleyball championship Thursday afternoon at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse.
“That’s probably the best volleyball we’ve ever played,” Osage’s Paige Kisley said. “We’ve been dreaming about this forever, and we took care of business.”
Osage (34-2) was making its 15th state appearance. This was its first championship, and the Green Devils left no doubt.
“We were totally prepared. We knew their tendencies,” Mount Vernon Coach Maggie Willems said. “But we couldn’t respond consistently enough to be successful.
“That’s a team that doesn’t give you a break, and our serve didn’t do enough to disrupt them, so they could have their pick of swings.”
The first set was as one-sided as the score indicates. Mount Vernon (32-7) scored the first point on an ace by Jorie Randall, but Osage had scoring runs of four, nine and 10 points. The Green Devils scored 14 kills (six by Danielle Johnson) and posted a .542 kill efficiency, compared to minus-.129 for the Mustangs.
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“Everybody showed up with their ‘A’ game today,” said Johnson, the all-tournament captain. “We knew Mount Vernon would come back strong with everything they had, so we had to keep our momentum rolling.”
Game 2 was close for a while before Osage pulled away from a 12-11 advantage. The finale took a similar path.
Johnson finished with 16 kills and 15 digs, and was joined on the all-tournament team by Kisley (11 kills) and Ellie Bobinet (39 assists), as well as Schrock and Sydney Dennis from Mount Vernon, plus A.J. Schubert of Davenport Assumption and Morgan Middleton of Clarion CGD.
Schrock led the Mustangs with 10 kills, seven in the third set. Madi Cranston added five.
“The memories I’ve made here ... this is like my second family,” said Schrock, who joined the Mustangs as a junior after transferring from Solon. “I’m happy I got to play in two championship matches.”
Dennis said, “If we were going to get beat, I’d want it to be by a great team. And that was a great team.”
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