116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Think you’re off the hook when Macy Daufeldt goes to the back row?
Think you can relax and exhale?
Daufeldt compiled 37 kills in her second state-tournament masterpiece in 26 hours — a good number of them from behind the 10-foot line — and fourth-ranked West Liberty outlasted No. 1 Davenport Assumption in a five-set Class 3A semifinal shootout Wednesday afternoon at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse.
Scores were 25-23, 23-25, 19-25, 25-23 and 16-14.
“I’ve been working on (the back-row attack) a lot lately,” Daufeldt said. “It started out really good this season, then I kind of went through a middle-of-the-year slump.
“I was dipping my shoulder. I wasn’t finishing.”
She certainly finished Wednesday, with eight kills in the final set, including back-to-back points from the pin that sent the Comets (39-4) to the 3A final.
They’ll face No. 2 West Delaware (42-5) — a four-set winner over Sergeant Bluff-Luton — for the championship at 2:30 Thursday afternoon.
» Photo gallery: West Liberty vs. Davenport Assumption in state volleyball tournament
“(West Delaware is) very disciplined, very well-coached,” Comets Coach Ruben Galvan said. “We’re going to have our hands full, but it’s going to be a blast.”
A Drake University recruit, Daufeldt has posted 70 kills in eight sets through the first two matches here. She had 33 in West Liberty’s first-round sweep of Mount Vernon on Tuesday, then tallied 37 — against 11 errors, in 93 swings — as the Comets advanced to the finals for the second time.
They were runners-up in 2015, when Macy’s older sister, Hailey Daufeldt, was one of the top attackers.
“I’m really excited about tomorrow, but right now I can’t want to go celebrate with my team,” Macy said.
Daufeldt began her fifth-set barrage with a kill that put the Comets up 7-5. Another made it 9-7. Then 10-8. Then 11-9.
With the Comets up 12-11, she struck from the back row. Then she hit an offspeed shot from the back row that found the floor, and the Comets had match point at 14-12.
Assumption (35-5) tied it with a kill from Anna Strajack and an ace from Carly Rolf, but Daufeldt returned to the front row and delivered a pair of bullets to end the match.
“She’s a phenomenal athlete,” said freshman Sophie Buysse, who added 10 kills. “A great leader. She helps the team so much.”
As dominant as Daufeldt is, West Liberty isn’t a one-hit wonder. The supporting cast (two freshmen and a sophomore are among the starters) has improved steadily as the season has progressed.
“Our team chemistry is unbelievable,” said Galvan, one of the first people to rush the court after Daufeldt’s final kill hit the floor. “I’ve been coaching 25 years, and I’ve never seen a team that cared for each other this much.”
Brooklyn Buysse dished out 47 assists. Five players reached double-figures in digs (17 each for Brooklyn Buysse and Daufeldt).
Ava Schubert led Assumption with 20 kills. Maggie Johnson added 17, Ava Harris-Shepard 14.