116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Home / Sports / Iowa Prep Sports / Iowa High School Volleyball
Pleasant Valley returns to state volleyball finals with sweep of West Des Moines Valley
Spartans will try to repeat against No. 1 Iowa City Liberty
CORALVILLE — New season. New quest. A chance for the same finish.
Pleasant Valley has its sights set on another title.
The third-ranked Spartans made quick work of No. 10 West Des Moines Valley, posting a 25-15, 25-21, 25-20 sweep in the Class 5A state volleyball semifinals Monday at Xtream Arena. Pleasant Valley won its first state crown last season and will have a shot at a repeat, facing top-ranked Iowa City Liberty (32-8) in the final at 10 a.m. Thursday.
“I’m super excited to get another opportunity to get into that environment and played on that big of a stage,” Pleasant Valley junior libero Molly Albrecht said. “We didn’t let the championship from last year shine a light on the season because it’s a new team. We started fresh with a lot of new girls, so we’re excited for another chance at a title.”
The Spartans (29-6) worked swiftly and effectively for most of the match. Their balanced attack was hard for the Tigers to hold down for long stretches of time. The Spartans converted on a .269 kill percentage. Chloe Cline led the way with 12 kills, including the final one to end the match. Izzy Van De Wiele had 11, while Isabelle Kremer and Emily Goodpaster added eight apiece. Halle Vice gave Pleasant Valley a handful with six or more.
⧉ Related article: Photos: West Des Moines Valley vs. Pleasant Valley in 5A Iowa state volleyball semifinals
Setter Sienna Roethler was a big part of the attack, tallying 38 assists.
“One of our biggest strengths as a team is we have hitters that can hit from any position,” Cline said. “Siena being able to distribute the ball to any spot on the court and us being able to put the ball away is a huge advantage.”
Pleasant Valley controlled the first and third sets, closing the opener with seven of the last eight points and six of the final eight to advance. The second set played out much differently and really swung the match in the Spartans’ favor.
Valley stormed to a 14-3 lead. The Spartans started to chip away, pulling within 18-16 on an Albrecht ace. Four had aces down the stretch, including a winner from Goodpaster.
“They really showed their grit and determination,” Spartans Coach Amber Hall said. “I only have two timeouts and so many subs. You have to live with what you’ve got.
“It was really exciting. I’m so proud of them that they were able to calm themselves down, refocus and lean into each other. Just having that mentally of never giving up.”
Elise Jaeger had 12 kills and Finley McAndrew had 16 assists to lead Valley, which ended the season (22-21).