West High senior Maddie FayBy Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – The Spike will reside at West High for the second straight year and this time it didn’t take five sets for it to find its home.
West won its second straight regular season meeting over City High 25-9, 22-25, 25-23, 25-21 on Tuesday in a sweltering West High gymnasium to end a string of three straight cross-town rivalries decided in a fifth set.
Emma Norris and Chandler Haight each had 11 kills as Class 5A No. 12 West High (5-6) won the Battle for the Spike for the fifth time in the past six seasons.
“This means a lot to us,” West High senior setter Maddie Fay said. “We didn’t want it to go five, we just picked it up and we were a lot more excited and supporting each other and just talking a lot more in the last two sets.”
Four West High players had at least eight kills on Tuesday as the Women of Troy had 52 kills to 30 for City High (5-6).
Senior Ali Tauchen had 10 kills while junior Colby Greene had eight including the match-clincher in the fourth set.
In last year’s win Greene capped off a 15-12 fifth-set win with an ace block as West High regained the Spike.
On Tuesday Greene’s kill down the line secured a 25-21 win in the fourth set to help the Women of Troy retain the Spike.
“I don’t know what it is with ending the match, I just felt it and I knew we could get the win,” Greene said. “I hit it and I got it down.”
The first set looked little like a rivalry that had been nearly even the previous three seasons.
West High closed the opening set on a 16-4 run to win 25-9.
After the lopsided opener it looked every bit like a rivalry that had produced three straight five-set matches.
City High rallied from an 18-13 deficit in the second set and used a 5-0 run to take a 23-20 lead.
The Little Hawks secured the win on a Shannon Stamp kill.
“For us it was a matter of us just actually playing hard from whistle to whistle and the second half of the second it was all out effort on everything,” City High coach Craig Pitcher said. “We had some breaks but you kind of make your breaks. You earn those my working your tail off.”
West High built a 9-2 lead early in the third set but again City High rallied.
The Little Hawks tied the set at 20-20 before West High used a 3-0 rally that featured a kill by Haight to take a lead it would never give up.
Haight secured the third-set win with her third kill of the set.
“We knew when we won the first set City High was going to come back with a punch,” Greene said. “We knew we had to come back even harder.”
West High scored eight straight to open the fourth set behind a pair of kills from Haight and one each from Emily Halverson, Fay and Greene.
The Women of Troy had five players with at least two kills in each of the final two sets.
“Our outsides were putting the ball and our back row was doing a great job of picking stuff up,” Fay said. “We picked it up a lot the last two.”
City High wouldn’t go quietly.
The Little Hawks cut the lead to 22-20 on back-to-back kills by Shannon James and trailed just 23-21 following another James kill.
However, West High wouldn’t let it get any closer as a net violation on City High and a kill by Greene closed things out.
West High had 32 of its 52 kills over the final two sets and head coach Randy Dolson praised the Women of Troy back row players for making that possible.
“I think our three passers, Gabby Klemme, Gabi Delsing and Madi Ford were just passing lights out,” Dolson said. “We might have one shank here or there but man ever since this weekend they have been passing great. It all starts with a pass and you can put pressure on the defense and I think those three really shored up the ball game for us.”
Halverson finished with seven while Fay chipped in with five from her setter spot.
“We all got really tired and at a certain point in the game they decided to stack on certain players,” Greene said. “So being able to show them we had other people helped us a lot.”
West High 25 22 25 25
City High 9 25 23 21
Madi Ford 0-1-0, Emma Norris 11-2-2, Ali Tauchen 10-1-0, Emily Halverson 7-0-0, Gabby Klemme 0-1-0, Maddie Fay 5-1-0, Chandler Haight 11-0-1, Colby Greene 8-0-0, Team 52-6-3.
Assists – Maddie Fay 42.
Sydney Schroder 0-1-0, Alexa Aldrich-Ingram 7-0-1, Mackenzie Murphy 3-0-1, Ellie Evans 7-0-1, Grace Brown 1-1-0, Cessily Hayes 0-0-1, Shannon James 7-0-0, Shannon Stamp 5-0-3, Team 30-2-7.
Assists – Sydney Schroder 13, Alexa Aldrich-Ingram 8, Mackenzie Ribble 2.