116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Maddie Harris did much of her damage Tuesday night at the net.
But in the pivotal run in the final set, she was at the service line.
Harris served seven consecutive points to start Game 5 — thanks in part to two kills and two blocks from Libby Lansing — and Class 4A second-ranked Western Dubuque outlasted 5A No. 12 Cedar Rapids Prairie, 22-25, 25-13, 21-25, 25-18, 15-7 in an MVC Mississippi Division volleyball match at Prairie High School.
“We were just keeping things simple,” Harris said of the Bobcats’ key surge. “We didn’t try to make it fancy.”
For the Bobcats (7-2, 2-1 MVC Mississippi), that’s a good philosophy. Just be themselves. Because that’s plenty good.
Western Dubuque has made the last two state tournaments, reaching the 4A final in 2019 and the semifinals in 2020. Most of those components are seniors now, pushing for one more title bid.
“We all have that mindset, we want to be state champions,” said setter Madison Maahs, who counted 52 assists, 24 of which resulted in Harris kills.
“I just told (Maahs) she needed to set me so I could go down the line, because a lot of the time, there was nobody there,” said Harris, who converted 29 of 31 serve attempts, with three aces.
Prairie (5-3, 1-2) won the first and third sets for a 2-1 lead before Western Dubuque rallied.
“They were out-hustling us in the sets we lost,” Harris said. “At the end, we played our game.”
Prairie Coach Lynnette Stecklein said, “We knew this would be a good battle. (Western Dubuque has) a good team. But I feel like we have a good team, too. And we proved that early in the match.
“When we’re in system, we’re a good team. But they got us out of system and put us on our heels a little bit.”
When Harris went to the service line in Game 5, the set was tied 1-1. When she stepped away, the Bobcats were in control, 8-2.
Meredith Bahl added 17 kills for the winners. Lansing tallied 10.
Prairie got 22 kills from 5-foot-8 junior Jacey Miller, a good number of those from the back row.
“She had a great night for us,” Stecklein said.
WESTERN DUBUQUE 3, CEDAR RAPIDS PRAIRIE 2 (22-25, 25-13, 21-25, 25-18, 15-7)
At C.R. Prairie
Serving: Western Dubuque 99-108 (.917), Prairie 78-88 (.886)
Aces: Western Dubuque 10 (Maddie Harris, Madison Maahs, Natalie Ulrichs 3), Prairie 5 (Alexis Moses, Kacy Bronner 2)
Kills: Western Dubuque 64 (Harris 24), Prairie 54 (Jacey Miller 22)
Assists: Western Dubuque 59 (Maahs 52), Prairie 50 (Macy Harder 26)
Blocks: Western Dubuque 5 (Libby Lansing 3), Prairie 2 (Moses, McKenna Murray)