(Photo Courtesy: Bryon Houlgrave // desmoinesregister.com)
Cedar Rapids — There’s no more questions.
There’s no more debate.
1A volleyball for the foreseeable future runs through Notre Dame, the Super Conference and southeast Iowa.
For the second consecutive year, the Notre Dame Nikes captured a state championship, cementing their status as the most dominant program in the sport at their level.
For what it’s worth — and head coach Mike Davis would agree — it wasn’t as easy as it was last year for the Nikes.
They were missing the tournament MVP from a year ago in Katy Stephens.
Her absence thrust rising superstar Gabby Deery into the limelight and not only did she excel, she exceeded.
Deery provided her capstone performance in last night’s title game drilling home a match-high 18 kills, propelling the Nikes to a 3-1 win over Springville.
Deery finished the three day tournament with an absurd 67 kills.
“Her plans got moved up with [Katy] got hurt, but she got the note in the mail that said hey we’re doing this a year early. And midway through this year, she really started figuring this out and her efficiency was out of this world” head coach Mike Davis said.
For her efforts she was named 2021’s 1A Tournament MVP.
Josie Bentz had 13 kills in the win while Megan Harrell and Abby Korschgen each had eight.
Jenna Bentz paced the Nikes with 42 assists.
After falling behind in set one — one they eventually lost — the Nikes outscored Springville 75-57.
“I don’t know what it is, it’s ridiculous to think how many times we’ve had to gnaw and claw to get back into a game” Davis said.
“But these girls, they never give up. I was thinking this might be a tough road for us but they came back in that second game like the first never happened. It’s just amazing”
Notre Dame will graduate Josie and Jenna Bentz, Megan Harrell, Katy Stephens and Maisey Belger, so the road to a three-peat may be harder.
But with arguably 1A’s best player in tow in Gabby Deery, anything may be possible.
“We’re still going to be good, I want to go play good teams, we may have a ton of losses — but when it comes to this time of year, we’re going to be ready.”
Other state final results from yesterday:
- Dike-New Hartford 3, Western Christian 0
- West Delaware 3, West Liberty 1
- Western Dubuque 3, Waverly-Shell Rock 0
- Pleasant Valley 3, Cedar Falls 0