CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Prep volleyball power Hull Western Christian was making its state-record 18th straight appearance in the state tournament semifinals when it met Sidney at the U.S. Cellular Center.
When that unprecedented run of success was in its infancy, so were the current Wolfpack players.
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve been coming to watch the Wolfpack play at the state tournament,” Macay Van’t Hul said. “To actually be able to play here is cool. It’s been my dream since I was little.”
Van’t Hul, a 6-foot-1 junior middle, helped a balanced attack with 15 kills Thursday as No. 3 Western Christian swept the fourth-ranked Cowgirls 25-20, 25-17, 25-15 to advance to Friday’s Class 2-A final.
Sidney (39-3) entered the semifinal having won 37 matches in a row. But the Cowgirls led only briefly in the third set, 1-0 and 3-1, as the Wolfpack (41-5) played from in front for nearly the entire time.
“They kept us out of transition,” Sidney coach Amy McClintock said. “They served hard, and we struggled. They picked on some of our kids that don’t pass as well as the other kids. When our passes aren’t up front and we can’t run a faster tempo, they’re 5-10 or 6-foot girls and they’re waiting for us.”
The Wolfpack keyed on Sidney hitters Camryn McClintock and Kelsey Hobbie, who combined for 42 kills in a quarterfinal win over Tri-Center on Wednesday. Western Christian held them to a total of 18 on Thursday.
“It was their night,” coach McClintock said. “They’ve been through this so much that they know how to prepare. We knew we had to pass well, and we kind of struggled in that area. That was a big difference.”
Sidney (39-3)……………………….20 17 15
Western Christian (41-5)………..25 25 25
S (kills-aces-blocks): Olivia Larsen 0-0-0, Maddy Duncan 2-0-1, Harley Spurlock 2-0-0, Kelsey Hobbie 11-0-1, Camryn McClintock 7-2-0, Presley Brumbaugh 3-1-0, Savannah Hall 0-0-0, Jaden Daffer 1-0-0, Paige Smith 0-0-0. Totals 26-3-2.
WC: Olivia Granstra 0-0-1, Tori Wynja 8-2-1, Ally Postma 9-0-0, Chandler Schemper 8-0-0, Macay Van’t Hul 12-0-2, Sienna Moss 4-0-1, Makenna Koima 0-0-0, Madison Hofman 2-5-0, Kayla Zevenbergen 0-0-0, Emma Bousema 0-2-0, Madison Vis 0-0-0. Totals 43-9-5.
Set assists: S 24 (Larsen 24), WC 41 (Granstra 29, Wynja 9, Schemper 2, Hofman 1).