TIPTON — West Liberty emphatically turned this showdown into a shocker.
Coach Ruben Galvan moved his two big guns to the center of the attack, and Macy Daufeldt and Martha Pace responded to lead the Class 3A fifth-ranked Comets to a sweep of No. 1 Tipton (25-17, 29-27, 25-9) in a River Valley Conference South Division volleyball match Thursday night at Tipton Middle School.
“We proved tonight that we can beat anybody if we want to,” Daufeldt said after a 13-kill performance.
And Thursday, the Comets wanted to.
“I told them this was the season right here,” Galvan said. “The mountain got higher, and we climbed it well.”
Down 20-15 in the second set, West Liberty scored six straight points to take the lead. The set was tied seven times after that, then the Comets (10-2 overall, 2-1 RVC South) scored the last two points on Tipton errors.
It got much, much easier after that.
Daufeldt (a Drake recruit) and Pace were middle hitters last year, then moved to the outside this fall. Thursday, it was back to the middle, and the duo controlled the action.
“It just kind of depends who we’re playing against,” Daufeldt said. “We knew our normal middles could handle their outside hitters.”
The Comets lost to Wilton on Tuesday, but responded like champs.
“We needed to be active in the middle,” Galvan said. “And like I told them after Tuesday, if we don’t set the tone, somebody else will.”
Tipton (17-3, 3-1) had one good stretch, a nine-point surge to take a 20-15 lead in the middle set. But Daufeldt pounded three kills in a 6-0 West Liberty run to get the Comets back in it.
The Comets led the finale 7-5 before busting it open with a 14-1 blitz.
“We were controlling all levels, and we were serving really aggressive,” West Liberty setter Morgan Peterson said.
Pace added seven kills and six blocks for the winners. Peterson distributed 25 assists.
Sommer Daniel, the reigning 3A state player of the year, posted 11 kills, nine assists and four aces for the Tigers.
WEST LIBERTY 3, TIPTON 0 (25-17, 29-27, 25-9)
Serving — West Liberty 70-79 (.886), Tipton 50-54 (.926).
Aces — West Liberty 8 (Monica Morales 4), Tipton 5 (Sommer Daniel 4).
Kills — West Liberty 35 (Macy Daufeldt 13), Tipton 26 (Daniel 11).
Assists — West Liberty 30 (Morgan Peterson 25), Tipton 24 (Daniel 9).
Blocks — West Liberty 10 (Martha Pace 6), Tipton 3 (three with 1).
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