Coralville, IA- Destiny. That word seemed so fitting for Holy Trinity Catholic last night. Natalie Randolph playing in the championship game after missing all last season with a knee injury.
Reagan Holvoet had dressed for the Crusaders after she was injured to start the season.
Mikaela Richter was inducted into the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Hall of Fame before the start of the Class 1A championship game. Additionally, Richter was a key part of the last Crusader state championship team and now an assistant coach for Holy Trinity Catholic.
The script appeared perfect for the Class 1A State Championship; however, destiny had other plans.
#3 Holy Trinity Catholic and #1 Ankeny Christian were both looking for their program’s second state championship and for the Eagles, they were attempting to win back-to-back state championships in only their second appearance.
In set one, neither team was able to gain the upper hand, but the Eagles had just enough offense outhitting the Crusaders 0.208% to 0.171% to win set one 25-21.
Unfortunately, the offense never got into system for Holy Trinity Catholic,
“We couldn’t get our offense running as smoothly as we liked,” said Crusader Head Coach Melissa Freesmeier.
The Crusaders were outhit 0.130% to 0.215% by the Eagles offense that was led by All-Tournament Captain Katie Quick, who tallied 7 kills and 35 assists. Carley Craighead, another All-Tournament talent, notched 13 kills and Macey Nehring grabbed 16 kills, an All-Tournament spot, and the Top Producer award.
Ankeny Christian’s offense took over in the second set to win 25-18 and the Eagles were unstoppable from the service line with 11 aces, including four during an eight-point run late in the third set to take a 22 to 11 lead, before finally winning the third set 25-17.
Senior Mary Kate Bendlage was named to the All-Tournament team as she led the Crusaders with 11 kills on the night. Natalie Randolph, another senior, notched 10 assists, 6 kills, and 17 digs in the loss. Teagen Snaadt, a junior, racked up 18 digs as she was also named to the All-Tournament team. Presley Myers led the team with four blocks bringing her postseason total to 38.
Seniors Taegan Denning, Reagan Holvoet, and Jenna Hellman will also be graduating at the end of the school year and Coach Freesmeier spoke highly of this senior class,
“Five seniors that are solid and will be greatly missed. They are leaders on and off the court, in the academic world and in the athletic world.”
Holy Trinity Catholic finished the year with a 33-11 record and Class 1A’s runner up and for Coach Freesmeier that’s nothing to hang your head about,
“I told the kids if we play hard and did the best we could and we lost tonight that it would be ok. You know, second in the state, you know we want the championship of course, but second in the state isn’t too bad.”