116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — In volleyball, momentum can change on a dime. Once you lose it, there’s no guarantee you’ll get it back.
So with the third set going back and forth, the Cedar Falls Tigers didn’t want to leave anything to chance.
“We were all on our toes a little bit,” Tigers setter Nohea Mahi said. “We really wanted to get it done in three.”
Fourth-ranked Cedar Falls fought off two West Des Moines Dowling set points in Game 3 and polished off the No. 5 Maroons, 25-22, 25-18, 30-28, in a Class 5A quarterfinal at the state volleyball tournament Monday afternoon at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse.
“We knew they were going to battle us with their season on the line,” said Cedar Falls hitter Katie Remmert, who led all attackers with 16 kills. “But we were able to get it done.”
The Tigers (31-8) defeated the Maroons for the third time this season and advance to face No. 10 Johnston (28-11) in a semifinal at 10 p.m. Wednesday.
Johnston pulled the upset of the day, a five-set victory over No. 1 Iowa City Liberty.
“I wasn’t expecting that,” Mahi said. “Good for (Johnston). I’m excited to play them.”
Cedar Falls emerged from a 21-21 tie to claim the first set and built a big early lead in the second.
Game 3 was a back-and-forth deal. Cedar Falls led 18-15, then Dowling (27-13) surged for a 21-20 advantage.
With the Maroons up 23-22, Remmert kills accounted for three straight Cedar Falls points, and the Tigers led 25-24.
“The team trusted me, and I trusted our setter and our defensive players,” Remmert said. “I was able to come up with some big plays.”
A kill by Sarah Forey gave Dowling set point at 26-25, then another put the Maroons in front 27-26.
But two Dowling errors flipped the advantage to Cedar Falls, and at 28-28, the Tigers closed it out with a kill by Summer Halsor and an ace by Sarah Albaugh.
Olivia Smothers added 10 kills for the Tigers. Mahi accumulated 35 assists.
Mackenzie Dean paced Dowling with 15 kills. Piper Kirchhoff added 12. Annalise Grant counted 24 digs.