The volleyball team from Cedar Rapids Kennedy has been a resilient bunch.
And Tuesday, the Cougars will be rewarded as such.
“I was looking to do something special to do for them,” Kennedy athletics director Aaron Stecker said. “Something unique.”
This is both.
A team without a home court, Kennedy will “host” its Senior Night on Tuesday against Dubuque Senior at a brand-new, big-time venue — Xtream Arena in Coralville.
“It’s pretty cool. The girls are excited about it,” Kennedy Coach Robin Fonck said.
Xtream Arena officials held their grand opening earlier this month. The arena is the home of the University of Iowa volleyball team, but the Hawkeyes’ season is on hold. So the Kennedy-Senior match will be the first official volleyball competition in the arena, which seats 5,100.
The Cougars have been without a home since the derecho of Aug. 10, which coincidentally was the first day of practice.
“The girls have had to lose an awful lot this season,” Stecker said. “All of our home matches turned into road matches.”
Xtream Arena and the adjacent Green State Family Fieldhouse both were available Tuesday. And though the arena rent was higher — Stecker declined to provide a figure — he said the price is worth the experience.
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“They gave us a pretty good break,” he said. “They were willing to accommodate us.”
Kennedy (14-6, 2-2 MVC Valley) has won nine of its last 10 matches.
“We’re playing really solid, getting better every week,” Fonck said. “We’ve had some lineup changes, a couple of injuries, but we have a pretty deep bench.”
Sophomore Mara Fluent is averaging 1.61 kills and 3.61 assists per set. Junior Molly Joyner is the top hitter at 1.78 kills per set.
Senior is 11-6 overall, 3-2 in the division, and is ranked No. 12 in Class 5A.
The junior-varsity match is scheduled for 5 p.m., the sophomore at 6, the varsity at 7:30.
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