Prep Volleyball

Tipton turns on a switch, brushes aside New Hampton in state volleyball quarterfinals

Down 22-16 in pivotal 3rd set, No. 2 Tigers roar back and gain first state win

CEDAR RAPIDS — Some people aren’t cat people. Most people aren’t Monday people.

The Tipton Tigers aren’t second-set people.

“I’d really like to know why,” Coach Amy Calonder said. “We’ve joked about it ... they go out and lose the second set, then they get mad and say, ‘This is it, enough.’”

Second-ranked Tipton rallied from a 22-16 deficit in Game 2 and went on to brush aside No. 13 New Hampton in a four-set Class 3A quarterfinal at the state volleyball tournament Wednesday morning at the U.S. Cellular Center.

Scores were 25-23, 17-25, 25-23 and 25-19.

“We called timeout (late in the third set), and we looked at each other and said, ‘Yeah, we’re not losing this one.’ And we turned on a switch,” Tipton’s Jamie Kofron said.

They switched from sluggish to solid, and once they got the third set under their belts, there was no stopping them.

Tipton (38-3) won its first state-tournament match in school history, and advances to Thursday’s semifinal opposite No. 9 Mount Vernon (28-15). First serve is 2 p.m.

Mount Vernon upset No. 3 MOC-Floyd Valley in four sets Wednesday.

“We had to come from behind. Last year, I don’t think we’d have been able to do it,” said Tipton’s Sommer Daniel, who led all attackers with 24 kills. “We kept talking about what we needed to fix. We had to do better at serve receive, and we had to slow down No. 6 (Rachel Rinken).

“She kept hitting holes, but we brought our (outside hitters) in to help block.”

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Down 22-16 in the third set, Tipton scored nine of the last 10 points. The Tigers had some help; four of their points in that run came from mistakes by the Chickasaws (36-6).

Karlee Kamberling’s ace tied the set at 23, then Kofron’s kill put the Tigers ahead. An attack error ended the set.

Tipton led the fourth set pretty much throughout. A four-point surge at 8-8 swung the momentum the Tigers’ way, and they maintained control from there.

Kofron added 10 kills for the Tigers. Amanda Smith collected 29 assists, and Blake Ehler had 18 digs.

Rinken knocked down 14 kills for New Hampton, which was making its first state appearance since 1974. The Chickasaws held a 21-19 advantage in the opener before Tipton rallied.

The Tigers scored four in a row for a 23-21 advantage, then closed out the set with a kill by Daniel and a block by Daniel and Kofron.

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

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