Prep Volleyball

Western sheds the fear, makes 18th straight state volleyball semifinal

Wolfpack rallies from two-set deficit, ousts Treynor

CEDAR RAPIDS — You’d think a two-set deficit would make a team like Western Christian freak out.

And you’d be wrong.

“We got out to the hallway and Coach (Tammi Veerbeek) told us to play with no fear of failure,” Macay Van’t Hul said. “We just had to clean it up on our side.”

They did, and as a result, Western’s semifinal streak survived.

The third-ranked Wolfpack awoke and rallied past No. 8 Treynor, 24-26, 22-25, 25-19, 25-10, 15-11, in a Class 2A quarterfinal at the state volleyball tournament Wednesday afternoon at the U.S. Cellular Center.

Veerbeek said she “stole” the fear-of-failure motto from Nebraska football coach Scott Frost. “I want the kids to feel free to make mistakes,” she said.

Once relaxed, the Wolfpack (40-5) upped their level of play and advanced to the semifinals for the 18th consecutive year. They will face No. 4 Sidney (39-2) at 4 p.m. Thursday.

The third and fourth sets were a blur. And it looked like the fifth would be too, but Treynor (33-8) had one final stand.

Down 12-5, the Cardinals scored six consecutive points to get back in striking range.

“Give them credit,” Veerbeek said. “They didn’t roll over.”

But Western scored the next three points on a kill, an ace and a block to shed the Cardinals and advance.

Tori Wynja led the Wolfpack with 17 kills. Van’t Hul added 15, Ally Postma 10.

“We became a lot more unpredictable later in the match,” Van’t Hul said.

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In the final three sets, Treynor had 15 kills and 19 attack errors. Kayla Chapman led the Cardinals with 15 kills.

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

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