Prep Volleyball

Sidney gets its elusive final point, and its elusive first state volleyball championship

Cowgirls hold off Wapsie Valley to claim the 1A crown

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Sidney Cowgirls will wait until Saturday morning to begin their 4 1/2-hour drive to the southwest corner of the state.

“I’ll probably sleep all the way home,” Kelsey Hobbie said.

It will be blissful, satisfied slumber.

Top-ranked Sidney watched a six-point lead slip to 24-23 in the waning moments of the fourth set, but 5-foot-5 outside hitter Maddy Duncan put a wrap on it with a kill from the left side to send the Cowgirls to their first state volleyball championship, 25-17, 23-25, 25-12, 25-23 over No. 6 Wapsie Valley in the Class 1A final Friday night at the U.S. Cellular Center.

“I want to go to Disneyland,” Cowgirls Coach Amy McClintock said. “I was patiently waiting, patiently waiting for that last point.

“Maddy’s only 5-5, but she can jump. She’s super-athletic, and she’s a competitor.”

Duncan led the Cowgirls (38-6) with 17 kills. Hobbie added 15 and earned all-tournament captain honors.

Olivia Larsen (51 assists) and Duncan made the all-tournament unit as well, as did Wapsie Valley’s Kalvyn Rosengarten and Lydia Imbrogno, as well as Claire Pothitakis of Fort Madison Holy Trinity and Katie Kopriva of North Tama.

Sidney was making its fifth consecutive state appearance. The Cowgirls were 1A runners-up in 2015, and this was their first trip back to the finals since.

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They rolled through the first set and led 16-8 in the second, but Wapsie Valley (25-16) stormed back with a 12-2 surge and squared the match at a set apiece.

Sidney regained the momentum and stormed through Game 3 and seemed safe at 24-18 in the closer, but the last point was elusive. The Warriors blocked three straight attacks to get within 24-22, then Kaci Beesecker’s kill cut the margin to one before Duncan halted the rally.

Imbrogno led Wapsie Valley with 15 kills.

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

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