116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
SPRINGVILLE — This is a program with very few voids.
One of those few is likely to be filled next week.
In fact, let’s just proclaim it now: Welcome to No. 1, Springville Orioles.
In an opportunity the Class 1A second-rated Orioles wanted badly, they rallied in both sets to top current No. 1 North Tama, 25-23, 25-23, in the championship match of the Springville Invitational volleyball tournament Saturday afternoon at Machovec Gymnasium.
“As the tournament went on, that’s the team we really hoped we’d get to play,” senior setter Nia Howard said. “Hard matches against really good teams ... those are the fun ones.”
And for the Orioles (18-1), this one was a blast. They scored the final four points of the opening set to erase a 23-21 deficit, then stormed back from a 15-6 crater in Game 2.
“When you’re that far down, you can’t expect to get them all back at once,” Springville’s Kennady Breitfelder said. “You’ve got to get to 10. Then you’ve got to get to 15.”
Springville rattled off 10 in a row to take the lead, then used a quick attack out of the middle behind Lily Clark to close out the Redhawks (16-3) at the end.
“When (North Tama’s) Shae (Ewoldt) got to the back row, we really thought Lily could outreach them (at the net),” Springville Coach Claude Howard said. “I told Nia, if we get a good pass, go to Lily because they were struggling to block her.”
Clark kills staked the Orioles to leads of 20-17, 22-19 and 24-23, then Nia Howard ended the match with an ace.
Springville has been a state-tournament staple under Coach Howard, getting all the way to the 1A final last year. The Orioles’ first No. 1 ranking, when the next Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union list comes out Thursday, is warranted.
“I have a tremendous amount of faith in our senior leadership,” Coach Howard said. “They’re not scared of the moment. I was probably the most scared.
“They steel themselves in tough moments, breathe, get the next ball down.”
Springville reached the championship match by sweeping its way through pool play, then beating Monticello for the fourth time this season, 25-21, 21-25, 15-11.
North Tama dropped its first match of the day, a three-setter to North Cedar, then won its next two matches to win a highly competitive Black Pool. The Redhawks rolled past Cascade in the semifinals, 25-18, 25-12.
Springville Invitational Volleyball Tournament
Teams — 1. Springville 3-0, 2. Cascade 2-1, 3. Easton Valley 1-2, 4. Jesup 0-3.
Springville def. Cascade, 21-11, 21-14
Cascade def. Jesup, 21-18, 28-26
Springville def. Easton Valley, 21-4, 21-11
Easton Valley def. Jesup, 11-21, 21-18, 15-13
Springville def. Jesup, 25-23, 21-10
Cascade def. Easton Valley, 21-18, 21-17
Teams — 1. North Tama 2-1, 2. Monticello 2-1, 3. Burlington Notre Dame 1-2, 4. North Cedar 1-2.
Monticello def. North Cedar, 21-12, 14-21, 15-8
North Cedar def. North Tama, 21-13, 18-21, 15-12
Monticello def. Notre Dame, 21-9, 16-21, 16-14
North Tama def. Notre Dame, 21-13, 23-21
North Tama def. Monticello, 21-14, 19-21, 15-9
Notre Dame def. North Cedar, 21-17, 18-21, 15-12
Springville def. Monticello, 25-21, 21-15, 15-11
North Tama def. Cascade, 25-18, 25-12
North Cedar def. Jesup, 21-8, 21-16
Burlington Notre Dame def. Easton Valley, 21-15, 21-16
Monticello def. Cascade, 21-13, 21-9
Springville def. North Tama, 25-23, 25-23