City High senior Alexa Aldrich-IngramYour Prep Sports
The City High volleyball team walked out of the Cedar Rapids Kennedy gymnasium last Tuesday mired in a three-match losing streak and looking for answers.
The Little Hawks dropped to 5-8 on the season after being swept by the fifth-ranked Cougars, their third consecutive conference loss to a ranked team.
“After Tuesday we were pretty down,” City High coach Craig Pitcher said. “Just psychologically and mentally it was rough leaving the gym at Kennedy on Tuesday.”
City High found what it was looking for in Dubuque on Saturday.
The Little Hawks shook off their recent struggles to go 5-1 on its way to winning the Dubuque Hempstead tournament title.
City High won four consecutive matches over ranked opponents to win the tournament, defeating Class 4A fifth-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier 21-17, 18-21, 15-8 in the title match.
With the 5-1 showing on Saturday City High improved its season record to 10-9.
“It was really a nice turnaround,” Pitcher said. “It was basically a 180 turnaround from how we felt leaving the gym on Tuesday to what we accomplished today.
Ninth-ranked West High went 4-1 on Saturday to improve to 14-9 on the season.
The Women of Troy defeated Davenport Central, Galena, Illinois and Cedar Rapids Kennedy in pool play.
West High downed Kennedy in the quarterfinals before falling to Xavier in the semifinals.
City High went 2-1 during pool play to advance to the bracket portion of the tournament.
The Little Hawks defeated Dubuque Senior 21-10, 21-10 and 4A No. 10 ADM 21-15, 21-12 in pool play and fell to Xavier 16-21, 21-4, 12-15.
City High won three straight bracket games, all over ranked teams to win the title.
The Little Hawks knocked off 5A No. 8 Bettendorf 21-17, 21-17 in the quarterfinals and defeated No. 6 Hempstead 17-21, 21-16, 15-11 in the semifinals to advance to the title match.
City High avenged a four-set loss to Xavier in the regular season and the pool play loss with its win over the Saints in the title match.
“As coaches we just went back to saying, ‘just work hard’,” Pitcher said. “We didn’t worry about anything else for two straight days of practice we just worked on working hard and putting a fight back into our game. It’s a war each time we play and I honestly think the kids carried that over to today.”
Senior Alexa Aldrich-Ingram led City High with 62 kills in the six matches on Saturday and added 32 assists.
Shannon Stamp had 30 kills, Ellie Evans had 25 kills and Shannon James chipped in with 17 kills.
Grace Brown collected a team-high 60 digs on Saturday while Sydney Schroder led the Ltitle Hawks with 76 assists.
Mackenzie Ribble had 32 digs for City High.
“I think we started to feed off of each other when somebody took the extra step, took the extra effort to get a ball that two weeks ago we didn’t even try to get,” Pitcher said. “It kept escalating into total trust in each other.”