Prep Volleyball

Sidney ends North Tama's most successful volleyball season in state semifinals

No. 1 Cowgirls will face Wapsie Valley for the 1A championship

CEDAR RAPIDS — Kelsey Hobbie wore a giant ice pack on her hip into the press room. Presley Brumbaugh had one to match, on her elbow.

“I landed sideways at the regional final,” Hobbie said. “During the match, the adrenaline kicks in and I can’t feel anything.

“But I’m pretty sore right now.”

She has one more match through which to gut it out.

Hobbie swatted 19 kills, and top-ranked Sidney maneuvered through some second-set lethargy to oust No. 5 North Tama in four sets (25-23, 16-25, 25-16, 25-17) in a Class 1A semifinal at the state volleyball tournament Thursday night at the U.S. Cellular Center.

“We had a little bit of an attitude adjustment there (after the second set),” Sidney Coach Amy McClintock said. “Things weren’t going our way, but we’re used to facing some adversity.

“Once we were able to start breaking (the serve of North Tama’s Katie Kopriva), we were OK, because our defense makes our offense work.

Sidney (37-6) is making its fifth consecutive state appearance and advances to the championship match for the second time; the Cowgirls were 1A runners-up to Janesville in 2015.

It will face No. 6 Wapsie Valley (25-15) in the championship match at 7 p.m. Friday.

“It’s good to be here,” said Maddy Duncan, who managed 16 kills despite standing just 5-foot-5. “We wanted to come here and play for a state title.”

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North Tama closed its best season in school history at 27-7. The Redhawks stayed in their postmatch huddle for a lengthy period.

“Coach (Channing Halstead) told us she was proud of us. Our senior class, we were her babies,” North Tama setter Isabel Sierra said. “We took this program to a new level.”

The Redhawks seemed to seize the momentum at the end of the second set, scoring 12 of the last 15 points to square the match at a set apiece. But the Cowgirls made a similar push at the end of Game 3, pulling away from a 13-13 tie with a 12-3 run. Then it was a 12-5 surge at the end of the final set to close it out.

“They were very aggressive,” Kopriva said. “They were tough defensively, they were in system a lot and that allowed them to keep their options open.”

Hobbie led all attackers with 19 kills, and Olivia Larsen collected 47 assists.

Abby Deboef paced the Redhawks with 16 kills, and Kopriva added 15 kills, five aces and 18 digs. Sierra distributed 39 assists.

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

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