By: Nathan Bloechl — email@example.com
Nikes Reign Supreme, Topple 1A Power in First Ever State Championship:
Junior Katy Stephens had 22 kills, while Josie Bentz and Gabby Deery finished with 18 and 14 respectively as the No. 7 Burlington-Notre Dame Nike volleyball team captured the programs first ever State Championship, defeating No. 4 Gladbrook-Reinbeck 3-1 last night at Alliant Energy PowerHouse.
Stephens in particular was simply indefensible at times for a versatile and potent Nike attack.
“Katy is 100 percent all the time — and we’re still working on things with her. Sometimes the [ball] doesn’t come as clean off her hand and get that spin, but she gets up so high, there’s not a whole lot you can do to stop her” head coach Mike Davis said.
Notre Dame take took set one 25-20, set three 25-18 and set four 26-24 — their first two set victories were aided by the exploits, both offensively and defensively by Josie Bentz.
Bentz again finished with 18 kills, but it was her 17 digs that paved the way for Notre Dame to win.
The junior do-it-all superstar was routinely providing great clearance on every glancing right-hand attack by Gladbrook’s superhero Saari Kuehl, a Southwest Minnesota State recruit.
Kuehl came into the tournament with the top kills per set among qualifiers, and while she was dominant for stretches, it was Bentz — and all of Notre Dame’s defense — that wound up with the last laugh.
Gladbrook’s lone victory — set two 25-21 — was in large part due to Kuehl’s eight kill performance in the set.
But Notre Dame kept their pace and kept playing Nike volleyball.
“We came in with some asterisks by our team. We want to prove we’re a great team, even though we are beating these ranked teams. We have to win this whole thing” Davis said.
“Now that we’ve got that trophy in our hands, no one can say anything.”
Their win ended their season with a record of 19-5, while Gladbrook-Reinbeck finished 34-3.
Notre Dame will return all key parts of their offense, losing only libero Karli Artman due to graduation, meaning a repeat is squarely in the realm of possibility.
1A All-Tournament Team Announced:
The Class 1A All-Tournament Team was announced at the conclusion of Notre Dame’s win, here’s the full roster:
- Josie Bentz, Burlington-Notre Dame
- Ava Wyatt, Gladbrook-Reinbeck
- Cadence Goebel, Gehlen Catholic
- Allie Petry, St. Albert
- Gabby Gergen, Janesville
- Saari Kuehl, Gladbrook-Reinbeck
- Katy Stephens, Burlington-Notre Dame, Captain
IGHSAU Day 4 Volleyball Scoreboard:
No. 3 Dike-New Hartford 3, No. 5 Denver 0
No. 1 Osage 3, No. 3 Mount Vernon 0
No. 1 Cedar Rapids Xavier 3, No. 6 West Delaware 0
No. 2 Ankeny 3, No. 5 Iowa City Liberty 1
Iowa High School Football Round of 8 Begins Tonight:
The Iowa High School football playoffs continue with the Round of 8 games being played statewide.
Here’s a look at all the matchups starting in 8-man:
Remsen-St. Mary’s vs. Audubon
CAM vs. Fremont-Mills
Janesville vs. Don Bosco
Easton Valley vs. Montezuma
St. Albert vs. Logan-Magnolia
West Hancock vs. Grundy Center
Wapsie Valley vs. Regina
MFL-Mar Mac vs. Saint Ansgar
OABCIG vs. West Sioux
South Central Calhoun vs. Southeast Valley
Van Meter vs. Underwood
Columbus Catholic vs. Sigourney-Keota
Central Lyon vs. West Lyon
West Marshall vs. PCM
Camanche vs. West Liberty
Waukon vs. Solon
Boyden Hull-Rock Valley vs. Webster City
Lewis Central vs. Harlan
Grinnell vs. Xavier
West Delaware vs. North Scott
Pleasant Valley vs. Iowa City West
Southeast Polk vs. Cedar Rapids Kennedy
Ankeny vs. Waukee
Dowling Catholic vs. West Des Moines Valley