116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CENTER POINT — Sure, Isabelle Elliott has the flashy stats, but you don’t really know until you see her on the court.
Now you know.
The state’s most prolific hitter in any class, Elliott went off for 34 kills, many coming during third- and fourth-set comebacks, and eighth-ranked Sumner-Fredericksburg dealt No. 6 Lisbon another volleyball regional-final blow — this time in Class 2A — in four sets Wednesday night at Center Point-Urbana High School.
Scores were 23-25, 25-12, 25-23 and 25-19.
“At practice Tuesday, we talked about grit. We talked about not backing down, about coming together as a team,” said Elliott, a junior and a University of Northern Iowa commit. “When we got down, we stayed confident.”
The Cougars (31-10) hung tough after squandering a big first-set lead. And they most definitely stuck together when facing a pair of late deficits — 22-19 in Game 3, 19-15 in Game 4.
Elliott slammed a pair of kills in Sumner-Fredericksburg’s 6-1 closing run in the third set, and she had five of them as the Cougars scored the final 10 points of the match.
“We knew what they wanted to do,” Lisbon Coach Lance Kamaus said. “We wanted to go point-for-point with them when (Elliott) was in the front row and make a move when she was in the back.
“We got caught all night in one rotation.”
That’s the truth. Sumner-Fredericksburg’s Payten Seehase served 36 times Wednesday, more than twice as many as any of her teammates. Seehase’s serve coincides with Elliott’s first stint in the front row.
Sumner-Fredericksburg will meet No. 2 Western Christian (40-5) in a 2A state quarterfinal at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Xtream Arena, Coralville.
Lisbon fell to 0-5 all-time in regional finals, and the Lions’ best season in school history ended at 38-3.
“I didn’t want this to be my last time on the court,” said senior Peyton Robinson, who led the Lions with 17 kills. “I hope it’s not. It is what it is, part of God’s plan.”
The Lions got down 11-3 in the opener, tied it at 12-12, then took their first lead on Robinson’s ace, 22-21. Back-to-back kills by Ava Czarnecki gave Lisbon the set.
“(Lisbon is) a very scrappy team,” said Elliott, who ran her season kill total to 651, most of anybody in any class. “We would hit and hit, and they’d keep getting it back up. I give them a lot of credit. They fought really hard.”
So did the Cougars. They turned Game 2 into a runaway, then had the most at crunch time in the final two sets.
Sumner-Fredericksburg finished with a 60-38 advantage in kills. Seehase added nine, Morgan Block eight. Freshman setter Alexa Buhman distributed 51 assists.
Czarnecki added 13 kills for Lisbon. Kali Nelson and Karlee Luneckas combined for 29 assists.
Of the nine Lions that played Wednesday, five were seniors.
“There’s nothing you can say at this point to make them feel better, but I’m super proud to be part of this group,” Kamaus said.
All three of Lisbon’s losses this season came to teams from the mighty North Iowa Cedar League. The NICL will push seven teams to state, including four in 2A.
Sumner-Fredericksburg 3, Lisbon 1
(23-25, 25-12, 25-23, 25-19)
CLASS 2A REGIONAL FINAL, AT CENTER POINT
Serving: Sumner-Fredericksburg 86-96 (.896), Lisbon 76-80 (.950)
Aces: Sumner-Fredericksburg 8 (Isabelle Elliott 5), Lisbon 5 (Peyton Robinson 3)
Kills: Sumner-Fredericksburg 60 (Elliott 34), Lisbon 38 (Robinson 17)
Assists: Sumner-Fredericksburg 58 (Alexa Buhman 51), Lisbon 37 (Kali Nelson 17)
Blocks: Sumner-Fredericksburg 4 (Buhman 2, Addi Murray 2), Lisbon 4 (four with 1)