Sports, Friday, November 5th

Prep Volleyball: Notre Dame Repeats, Defeats Springville:

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 game 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

Prep Volleyball: Randolph, Bentz Sisters, Deery Named to All-Tournament Team:

The Class 1A All-Tournament team has been announced and four area players were honored.

Burlington Notre Dame’s tandem of Jenna and Josie Bentz were recognized, while Holy Trinity sophomore Natalie Randolph was also selected.

Nike junior Gabby Deery was named the 1A All-Tournament Team captain.

Deery’s 67 kills paced the Nikes offensively as there was simply no defending her.

Lauren Wilson and Nia Howard of Springville and North Tama’s Jaydn Rausch rounded out the All-Tournament choices in 1A.

Prep Football: Audubon Outlasts WACO in Heartbreaker:

Braden Wessel’s fourth quarter punt return sent the Audubon Wheelers to the UNI Dome, defeating WACO 34-30 in a heartbreaking 8-Player Quarterfinal yesterday in Wayland.

The Warriors, leading 30-28, saw Wessel scamper 70-yards, weaving in and out of tacklers to give the Wheelers a lead they would not release.

They did earlier in the tilt, however, as WACO rallied in the fourth quarter.

Trailing 28-16 into the game’s last moments, WACO saw Jon Rice and Simeon Reichenbach both scored rushing touchdowns to give the Warriors a 30-28 lead.

Reichenbach was particularly outstanding.

The senior to be rushed 28 times for 158 yards and two touchdowns, while Jon Rice added 37 and two scores of his own.

A week after rushing for 301 yards and six touchdowns in their win over Montezuma, Wheeler quarterback Gavin Smith was held to just 84 yards by arguably 8-Player’s stingiest defense.

The loss ends WACO’s season at 10-1, falling one game of an appearance at the UNI Dome.

Audubon improved to 10-1 and is at the Dome for the second time in three seasons.

Their opponent is unknown at this time.

College Wrestling: Wesleyan Debuts Saturday: 

The Iowa Wesleyan men’s wrestling team will debut in 2021 this weekend when the Tigers travel to Indianola to take part in the Luther Hill Invitational.

The Tigers will lean Jesus Diaz, Zach Thomas and Brendon Lunsford — three returners who saw mat time last year and earned their sports as national qualifiers.

With 15 newcomers, head coach Shawn Contos is excited to see the growth and development of his youth movement tomorrow.

Action from Indianola on Saturday begins at 9:00 a.m.