West High Senior Emma Norris By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – Dubuque Wahlert raced to a 4-0 lead in the opening set of its Mississippi Valley Conference match with West High on Tuesday.
West High could never quite catch up.
Mackenzie May hammered 22 kills and Class 4A No. 5 Wahlert never trailed on Tuesday in a 25-14, 25-19, 25-21 sweep of 5A tenth-ranked West High.
“Right away coming out strong is huge,” Dubuque Wahlert coach Lindsey Beaves said. “We haven’t always done that in the past so we kind of stressed that and tonight we came out strong.”
West High never seemed to fully recover from the quick 4-0 start by Wahlert while dropping to 9-8 on the season and 2-2 in MVC play.
The Women of Troy didn’t hold a lead in any of the three sets and lost for the second time in their last seven matches.
“We weren’t ready to play and that is my responsibility to make sure we are ready to play and I didn’t get the job done,” West High coach Randy Dolson said. “I have to find a way to get these kids ready to play because mentally we are making way too many mistakes.”
Wahlert and May set the tone early.
The 6-foot-3 UCLA recruit had two kills during the 4-0 run to open the match.
May hammered eight of her match-high 22 kills in the opening set as Wahlert cruised to a 25-14 win.
“Our goal was to serve tough and get them out of a comfortable serve receive and we did a pretty good job siding out right away,” Beaves said. “I think those were the keys.”
Wahlert jumped to a 13-7 lead in the second set but West answered.
West High used a 4-0 run that featured a pair of kills by Emma Norris to cut the lead to 13-11.
The Women of Troy got as close as 19-18 with another 4-0 run that was capped by an Emily Halverson ace block but Wahlert closed out the set on a 6-1 run to take a two sets to none lead.
Junior libero Krystal Tranel had a pair of ace serves and May had two kills, including the set-clincher in the 6-1 run to end the set.
“We are too talented to have nights like this,” Dolson said. “It’s on me to find a way to get these kids charged up and ready to go when we take the court.”
The third set was a near replay of the second.
Wahlert steadily built a 17-10 lead behind five kills by May.
West High charged back and cut the lead to 18-17 with 7-1 spurt punctuated by back-to-back Colby Greene kills.
The Women of Troy trailed 21-20 late but again Wahlert and May made the plays late.
May had two kills during a 4-1 run to end the third set and provided the match-winner with an off speed shot down the line.
“I think we were the aggressors the whole way through which we haven’t always done,” Beaves said. “That second and third setts there were a couple of lulls in the middle but we did a really good job of weathering the storm and then finishing strong.”
May had at least five kills in every set and accounted for 22 of Wahlert’s 34 kills and added a pair of ace serves and an ace block.
“She is a great player,” Dolson said. “Everybody knows she is going to get a number of kills you just have to contain her and handle the ones that you should be able to handle and we weren’t able to do that.”
Norris led West High with 12 kills while Ali Tauchen and Greene each added eight and Halverson had seven.
West High has a rare week off before returning to action on Sept. 20 at 4A No. 6 Cedar Rapids Xavier.
“We play like we practice,” Dolson said. “We are calling them on that but we are going to change things up a little bit the next couple of days.”
West High 14 19 21
Dubuque Wahlert 25 25 25
Madi Ford 0-1-0, Emma Norris 12-0-0, Ali Tauchen 8-0-0, Emily Halverson 7-0-0, Chandler Haight 1-0-0, Colby Greene 8-0-0, Maddie Fay 0-0-0, Team 36-1-0.
Assists – Maddie Fay 26, Aubrey Sowers 1, Ali Tauchen 1.
Mackenzie May 22-2-1, Anna Sherman 7-0-1, Jenna Gremmel 1-0-0, Krystal Duehr 3-0-0, Carolyn Conlon 1-0-1, Krystal Tranel 0-2-0, Team 34-4-3.
Assists – Jenna Gremmel 22, Krystal Tranel 1.