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Holy Trinity outlasts Janesville in 5-set state volleyball quarterfinal
Fifth-ranked Crusaders advance to Class 1A semifinals
CEDAR RAPIDS — It certainly didn't come easy.
There were ups and downs, but in the end No. 5 Fort Madison Holy Trinity found its way into the Class 1A state volleyball semifinals.
Coach Melissa Freesmeier's team found a way, battling to a 23-25, 25-21, 25-22, 20-25, 15-8 win over No. 10 Janesville on Tuesday night at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse.
The Crusaders (33-10) will meet top-ranked Burlington Notre Dame in a semifinal match at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Janesville, in the state tournament for a 12th straight year, finishes at 25-16.
The two teams have met before at state and Freesmeier said Tuesday night’s battle was nothing new.
“Janesville had been a nemesis of ours for a long time,” she said. “We knew that both teams would fight hard. I really didn't want to go five, but it beat the alternative.
“It was just a great match by both teams.”
» Photo gallery: Fort Madison Holy Trinity vs. Janesville in state volleyball tournament
Freesmeier was concerned about how well senior setter Kassi Randolph would play. She spent any time there was no action with an icepack on the back of her neck.
Randolph responded with a splendid night, putting down 13 kills and coming up with 21 assists.
Neither team ever got into a rhythm in the two-hour match, but a key turning point came in the fifth game.
“I think it was Brooke Mueller's block that turned things our way,” Freesmeier said. “She went up and took it down and I think the energy just built from there.”
Mueller also contributed 13 kills. Natalie Randolph finished with 11 kills. On defense, Anna Sobczak was a force with 31 digs.
For Janesville, Pyper McCarville led the way with 24 kills and 25 digs. Kendall Thompson chipped in with 14 kills.