CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — With three straight state tournament appearances, Sidney had the experience it needed to make some noise in Cedar Rapids.
But the Cowgirls just couldn’t keep up with Grundy Center’s relentless pace.
The third-ranked Spartans ousted No. 6 Sidney, 25-12, 25-17, 25-18, in a 58-minute 2-A quarterfinal sweep at the U.S. Cellular Center on Wednesday afternoon.
The Spartans credited the victory to a play they call “Zero Temp.” The goal is for the middle hitter already to be on the way up before the setter gets the touch off. The team ran it to perfection.
“We ran it so quickly that they weren’t able to keep up with us,” Grundy Center’s Landry Luhring said. “It’s awesome that we were able to run it. It screws with the head of the opponent. They don’t know where the ball is going.”
Setter Emy Kracht got everyone involved. Kylie Willis (13 kills), Brooke Flater (12 kills) and Hailey Wallis (11 kills) all reached double figures.
The Spartans’ quick sets paired nicely with the team’s height advantage.
“In the end, they were the better team,” Sidney coach Amy McClintock said. “They were bigger, and they ran quicker stuff. They were in system most of the time, and we struggled.”
Camryn McClintock tallied a team-high eight kills and 10 digs for the Cowgirls.
“We knew that they were tall coming in compared to us,” Camryn McClintock said. “We didn’t pass very well, so we gave them a lot of free balls and they just kept putting it away on us. We let them go on three and four-point runs, which we can’t let them do.”
The Cowgirls, who moved up to 2-A this season, proved they could still compete at a higher level. Although the outcome was disappointing, McClintock says it was still a “great season.”
“We were excited, knowing that we made it in 2-A,” she said. “And I think that just gives us motivation for next year.”
Grundy Center (37-6)……..25 25 25
Sidney (31-6)……………….12 17 18
GC (kills-aces-blocks): Landry Luhring 7-0-2, Brooke Flater 12-0-3, Sydney Mathews 0-0-0, Kylie Willis 13-0-3, Hailey Wallis 11-1-2, Emy Kracht 5-2-2, Claire Verly 0-0-0, Hannah Stahl 0-0-0, Kyah Luhring 0-0-0.
S (kills-aces-blocks): Olivia Larsen 1-1-0, Cassidy Hobbie 3-0-0, Kelsey Hobbie 5-2-1, Camryn McClintock 8-0-0, Makenna Jarosz 4-0-0, Maddy Duncan 0-1-0, Presley Brumbaugh 1-0-0, Sarah Daly 0-0-0, Jaden Daffer 0-0-0.
Set assists: GC 46 (Kracht 23, Mathews 10, Verly 4, K. Luhring 3, Willis 3, Flater 2, L. Luhring 1). S 18, (Larsen 16, McClintock 1, Daffer 1). Digs: GC, K. Luhring 15, L. Luhring 9, Kracht 9, Mathews 8, Wallis 4, Willis 3. S, McClintock 10, Larsen 9, K. Hobbie 6, Daffer 6, C. Hobbie 2, Duncan 2, Jarosz 1, Daly 1.