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‘Is this real?’ Western Christian outlasts Dike-New Hartford in an epic 2A volleyball final
Wolfpack stun Wolverines with a comeback from 13-9 fifth-set deficit
CORALVILLE — Tammi Veerbeek likened it to a heavyweight boxing match.
If so, Western Christian now owns the championship belt.
The second-ranked Wolfpack rallied from fifth-set deficits of 13-9 and 14-11 and knocked off No. 1 Dike-New Hartford in a Class 2A title-match thriller, 25-21, 19-25, 25-21, 13-25, 16-14, at the state volleyball tournament Thursday afternoon at Xtream Arena.
“Is this real? I can’t imagine it’s real,” all-tournament captain Stelle Winterfeld said. “I just can’t wrap my mind around it.
“If this was going to be our last go-around, we weren’t going to go out tipping and being timid.”
⧉ Related article: Photos: Dike-New Hartford vs. Western Christian in Class 2A state volleyball championship
Instead, the Wolfpack swung away and have another title to show for it.
Western and Dike-New Hartford are co-queens of the court in Class 2A, combining for the last 13 titles. They have played in the finals 10 times since 2003; DNH had won the previous six.
Not this day. Not this time.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Veerbeek, who won her 13th championship (Western has won 18 all-time). “I have nothing but the utmost respect for (Coach) Diane Harms and Dike-New Hartford.
“But all we’ve heard about is Dike-New Hartford and the Petersen twins. We have good players, too.”
Western finished 43-5, including 33-0 against Iowa competition.
Winterfeld notched four kills after Dike-New Hartford (44-3) took a 13-9 lead in Game 5.
“We have seven seniors, and this was our last match together,” Winterfeld said. “It’s amazing to see our dreams come true.”
Winterfeld was joined on the all-tournament team by teammate Abby VerBurg, Jadyn and Payton Petersen of DNH, Isabelle Elliott of Sumer-Fredericksburg, Bailey Boeve of Hinton and Molly Shafer of Eddyville EBF.