CEDAR RAPIDS — A fast tempo got West Delaware to the state volleyball tournament.
When Glenwood caught on to that tempo during Monday night’s Class 4A quarterfinal matchup at Alliant Energy PowerHouse, the Hawks stuck to their plan.
“Tempo is created by passion,” said West Delaware Coach Brett Mather. “We stuck with it and I think in the end it was the deciding factor for us.”
The Hawks were able to rally from a 2-1 deficit and post a 25-17, 24-26, 20-25, 25-22, 16-14 victory, earning a return trip to the semifinals. West Delaware (28-12) will meet No. 10 Gilbert in a 12:30 p.m. match on Wednesday.
No. 3 Glenwood closes its season at 32-4.
“We just kind of persevered there,” Mather said. “The whole difference in that match was a couple of points. Both teams really played their hearts out, no doubt about that.”
The Hawks had Glenwood a bit out of sync in set 1. After winning the first set, 25-17, West Delaware found itself in a battle in the second game. The Hawks led 23-22, but the 1-2 punch of Elle Scarborough and Brynlee Arnold found their groove and rallied the Rams to a narrow win.
“I think our nerves got to us a little bit in the second game,” said Hawks sophomore Alivia Schulte. “We really didn’t compete as well as we did in the first game.”
West Delaware appeared to regain control in the third set. The Hawks raced to a 7-0 lead, only to see Glenwood seize control, especially at the net.
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“They have several incredible hitters,” Mather said of the Rams. “I think they had a little more hitting power than we did.”
That power, namely Scarborough and Arnold, led the Rams back. They eventually tied the set at 18, then scored seven of the final nine points to take the lead.
Set four was a battle of wills. Neither team led by more than three points. With the set tied at 22, West Delaware scored the final three points to force a fifth game.
“I don’t think we ever doubted ourselves,” said senior Ava Hauser. “We have the mindset that we have to keep working and never give in.”
West Delaware led most of the fifth game, only to see Glenwood make a final charge. The Rams fought off three match points to tie score at 14, but the Hawks got the final two, the clincher coming on a kill from Jaci Bries.
Schulte led the Hawks with 23 kills. Hauser and Bries had 16 apiece. Carlee Smith had 61 assists. Schulte also had 24 digs.
Scarborough led the Rams with 26 kills. Arnold finished with 16. Kelly Embray had 28 digs.