Prep Volleyball

Second-set comeback fuels Starmont to third straight state volleyball bid

Stars sweep HLV in a Class 1A regional final

DUNKERTON — High expectations are nice. But they also carry a burden.

“These girls were under a lot of pressure,” Starmont volleyball coach Robert Goedken said. “In the public’s eye, we were going to state before the season even started.”

And now, the expectations are fulfilled.

Fourth-ranked Starmont rallied from a 22-17 deficit in the second set and went on to sweep HLV (25-14, 25-23, 25-14) in a Class 1A regional final Tuesday night at Dunkerton High School.

“It’s a relief, and there’s also joy,” Macy Mommer said after putting down 14 kills and leading the Stars (29-6) to their third state tournament in a row.

They’ll face No. 6 Tripoli (23-15) in a first-round match at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the U.S. Cellular Center. They’re 0-for-2 in their previous first-round matches.

State volleyball pairings and schedule

“We kind of choked under pressure the last two times,” Mommer said. “We won’t buckle this time.”

HLV (19-11) appeared destined to square the match at a set apiece. After a missed serve got the Stars within 22-18, they rattled off the next five points behind two kills by Mommer, plus a kill and a block by Isabel Johanns.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

The Warriors got even at 23-all, then Mommer’s kill and another block by Johanns completed the Stars’ comeback.

“When we called time, we just said, ‘Hey, let’s get it together,’” Starmont’s Hayley Goedken said. “We’re pretty short and don’t get many blocks, but (Johanns) got a couple of huge ones for us there.”

HLV Coach Holly Kupka said. “If we’d have gotten that second set, we’d be on a big high, but we just couldn’t pull it off. All credit to (the Stars); they’re a solid team.”

Starmont ruled the first and third sets. Down 5-4 in the opener, the Stars went on a 12-3 spree to gain control. Then, after stealing the middle set, they raced to a 19-4 lead in the finale.

Madilyn Vaske added 10 kills for Starmont, and Hayley Goedken collected six. Regan Janssen distributed 29 assists.

Tuesday's regional volleyball finals: Scores and coverage

Amber Cooling and Macie Boots paced HLV with 10 kills apiece. The Warriors fell in the regional finals for the second consecutive year.

As for the Stars, they’ve hit the same point they had reached the previous two years. Now, they say, it’s time to push further.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Thank you for signing up for our e-newsletter!

You should start receiving the e-newsletters within a couple days.

“We’re going to try to make some noise,” Hayley Goedken said. “We want to win the first one, then win the second one and play in the championship match.”

STARMONT 3, HLV 0 (25-14, 25-23, 25-14)

1A Regional Final, at Dunkerton

Serving — HLV 48-54 (.889), Starmont 72-73 (.986).

Aces — HLV 3 (Haley Coats 2), Starmont 7 (Katie Berry 3).

Kills — HLV 31 (Amber Cooling, Macie Boots 10), Starmont 37 (Macy Mommer 14).

Assists — HLV 31 (Coats 16), Starmont 34 (Regan Janssen 29).

Blocks — HLV 6 (Olivia Van Waus 2), Starmont 3 (Isabel Johanns 2).

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

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

CONTINUE READING

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.