Prep Volleyball

Western Christian advances to state volleyball semifinals for 19th straight year

Wolfpack sweep Hudson behind 13-ace barrage

CEDAR RAPIDS — Tammi Veerbeek called it “a typical first-round match at state.”

Typical, because the new players had some butterflies. Some jitters.

Typical, because Western Christian was victorious.

Tori Wynja put down 13 kills, and the top-ranked Wolfpack served 13 aces and swept No. 10 Hudson, 25-19, 25-20, 25-17, in a Class 2A quarterfinal at the state volleyball tournament Wednesday afternoon at the U.S. Cellular Center.

“We didn’t play our best volleyball,” said Veerbeek, who has won 913 matches in 21 seasons with the state’s greatest dynasty. “I know we have another level in us.”

Western (39-5) advances to the semifinals for the 19th consecutive year — let that sink in for a moment, the 19th consecutive year — and will face No. 5 Osage (37-6) at 4 p.m. Thursday.

If the Wolfpack win that match, it will be the 18th time in this 19-year run of glory that they are in the finals.

“It’s great to be back and play on this amazing court,” Wynja said. “We came here with some jitters. We had some new girls, and I knew I had to be a leader out there.”

Hudson (31-8) got here by tripping No. 2 Mediapolis in the regional finals, but Western is on a different level. The Pirates made the set scores competitive, but didn’t seriously threaten the Wolfpack.

Makenna Kooima served five of Western’s 13 aces.

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“We knew if we served tough and kept them out of system, they couldn’t set their middle hitter as much,” Kooima said, referring to Hudson’s 6-foot-3 senior, Sara Klunder.

Macay Van’t Hul added eight kills for the Wolfpack. Emma Westphal posted six.

Ashlynn Kuhn led Hudson with 14 kills.

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

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