CEDAR RAPIDS — West Des Moines Valley was businesslike in its first match at the state volleyball tournament.
The Tigers will continue to chase a shot to conclude some unfinished business.
The returning state runner-up and third-ranked Tigers swept No. 6 Ankeny, 25-12, 25-17, 25-18, in the Class 5A quarterfinals Tuesday at the U.S. Cellular Center. Valley (41-3) advance to face No. 3 Ankeny Centennial (39-3) in a rematch of last year’s semifinal.
“We’ve been working really hard and that’s been our goal from the beginning of the season, knowing we’ve been in that position before,” Valley senior Madi Kubik said. “We lost our opportunity last year, so we still have another shot, so we’re going to work hard and play our hardest to get back there.”
Valley dominated from the start, jumping to an 18-7 lead in the first set and 16-6 advantage in the second.
“I think that just goes to show that we came right off the bat, pushing really hard and playing intensely,” Kubik said. “I think that comes from the way we’ve been practicing and preparing for this. It shows we’re ready and we’re so pumped for this opportunity.”
Kubik led the Tigers with 22 kills, converting on almost 57-percent of her attacks. In addition to being a leader, she had a team-high 14 digs and two aces. Kubik is a great asset and has a big influence on her teammates.
“It makes everybody rise to the occasion,” Valley Coach Jeremy Mikesell said. “I’ve said this multiple times and when I get a chance to watch other people respond around her it seems like they elevate their game.
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“They’re such a great group to coach that every chance that we can I notice other people making great plays for her and she makes plays for them.”
Hayden Kubik had eight kills and Jasmine Spann added five. Olivia Curry finished with 22 assists for Valley. She has confidence in a number of weapons on her side.
“Having the hitters that we have, including Madi, is a great gift to me,” Curry said. “It just makes it a lot easier and makes our game stronger. It makes me a better player, because I can get them good sets. It is just really fun.”
Taylor Richards and Isabelle Vacek had nine kills apiece to lead Ankeny (31-13). Phyona Schradaer had 17 assists for the Hawkettes.
Centennial won two of the three meetings this season, but Valley won the most recent and last year’s semifinal contest.
“I’m nervous but I’m so excited,” Curry said. “I am so ready to face them and hopefully win.”
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