116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The 2021 Iowa high school volleyball state champions have been crowned. All five championship matches were Thursday at Alliant Energy PowerHouse in Cedar Rapids.
Here are the scores, stats, full-match replays and complete coverage.
State volleyball coverage
Thursday’s state volleyball scores
CLASS 5A CHAMPIONSHIP
No. 2 Pleasant Valley 3, No. 4 Cedar Falls 0 (25-23, 28-26, 25-13)
Long points led to two tense sets.
“There were some big rallies,” Pleasant Valley setter Kora Ruff said. “We were prepared for that.”
The second-ranked Spartans won the tight ones, then made life easy on themselves at the end, sweeping No. 4 Cedar Falls, 25-23, 28-26, 25-13, for the Class 5A state volleyball championship Friday morning at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse.
“It’s such a blessing,” said Ruff, the all-tournament captain. “There are so many emotions right now. I’m so proud of the girls. Everybody played such a big role.”
Pleasant Valley (33-4) was making its first championship-match appearance, and cashed in.
— Jeff Linder
CLASS 4A CHAMPIONSHIP
No. 1 Western Dubuque 3, No. 3 Waverly-Shell Rock 0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-23)
Maybe it was a good sign.
Western Dubuque was imperfect — erratic, even — in the first set, and still won it.
“Even though we won it, Coach (Megan) Scherrman lit us up pretty good,” Maddie Harris said. “That put a fire under our belts.”
“We needed to get Bobcat volleyball rolling,” Madison Maahs said.
They did. And they have a championship to show for it.
Top-ranked Western Dubuque went on to sweep No. 3 Waverly-Shell Rock, 25-21, 25-17, 25-23, for the Class 4A crown Friday afternoon at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse.
The Bobcats (34-3) finished the season with 26 consecutive victories. And that caps quite a calendar year for girls’ athletics at the school; Harris also was part of the Bobcats’ run to a softball title in July.
“We weren’t going to end our volleyball career with a loss,” she said.
Western Dubuque was a surprise state runner-up in 2019, a semifinalist last year. The Bobcats were unquestionably the top team in 4A this go-round.
“My freshman year, Maddy and Maddie and me came together and said we would win one of these,” said Meredith Bahl, whose 16 kills paced all attackers. “We worked hard through all of those open gyms. We were always working for this.”
Bahl’s 16th kill was the final point of the match, triggering a typical celebratory pile on the floor.
Maahs (41 assists) was the all-tournament captain.
— Jeff Linder
CLASS 3A CHAMPIONSHIP
No. 2 West Delaware 3, No. 4 West Liberty 1 (21-25, 25-9, 25-20, 25-20)
Reach for the stars?
Sure, but first, the West Delaware Hawks had another target.
“Coach (Brett Mather) told our outside hitters to reach for the pin,” Alivia Schulte said.
The second-ranked Hawks slowed Macy Daufeldt just a bit and downed No. 4 West Liberty in four sets (21-25, 25-9, 25-20, 25-20) for the Class 3A state volleyball championship Friday afternoon at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse.
“A lot of emotions right now,” Hawks setter Carlee Smith said. “This was our redemption year for sure. We came back with loads of experience, and we got to get what we really wanted.”
Last year’s 4A state runners-up, the Hawks finished 43-5 and claimed their second title; the first came in 2015.
“We’ve given up a lot for this. Our practices are laborious and daunting,” Smith said. “We’re always working in the offseason. We never really get a break.
“But it’s worth it.”
— Jeff Linder
CLASS 2A CHAMPIONSHIP
No. 1 Dike-New Hartford 3, No. 3 Western Christian 0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-22)
Diane Harms was well aware of Western Christian’s comeback ability.
“We knew they were going to battle and fight,” said Harms, volleyball coach at Dike-New Hartford. “They came back from 0-2 against (Dyersville) Beckman.
“We had to take a moment to stop and refocus.”
Top-ranked Dike-New Hartford completed a 54-1 season with another Class 2A championship Friday afternoon at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse. The Wolverines rallied from an early 9-2 deficit in the third set to stop No. 3 Western Christian, 25-16, 25-17, 25-22.
The championship is the 15th for DNH/Dike program. The Wolverines and Western have combined for each of the last 12 2A titles.
There’s probably no end in the near future for the DNH dominance. Top players Payton Petersen (the 2A all-tournament captain) and Jadyn Petersen (also all-tournament) are sophomores.
The Wolverines’ only match loss this season was against 5A state qualifier Iowa City Liberty. They posted a 118-6 record against an extremely challenging schedule.
CLASS 1A CHAMPIONSHIP
No. 1 Burlington Notre Dame 3, No. 3 Springville 1 (21-25, 25-16, 25-21, 25-20)
Burlington Notre Dame looked vulnerable in the semifinals.
But that was then.
As the finish line drew near, the Nikes sprinted across. Top-ranked Notre Dame upped its game Thursday and topped No. 3 Springville in the Class 1A volleyball championship match, 21-25, 25-16, 25-21, 25-20, at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse.
“We had a target on our backs, and to win it with that target ... to go back-to-back ... it’s pretty amazing,” said junior Gabby Deery, the all-tournament captain.
As was the case in the quarterfinal match against Tri-Center, the Nikes (38-8) dropped the first set before coming back strong.
They had their hands full in the semifinals, too, winning all three sets by two points. But they played their best match of the week Thursday when their best match was necessary.
“We watched film of their semifinal match, and they definitely looked vulnerable,” Springville Coach Claude Howard said. “But they showed what championship volleyball was about.”