West Branch celebrates against Tipton. Photo by Darren Miller. By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
It’s one and done for high school volleyball teams the rest of the way.
Regional play begins this week with the state tournament running November 8-11 at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids.
Here are five things to watch as the postseason gets rolling.
Not every team would like to have 10 days without a match before its postseason opener.
West High likely doesn’t mind the extra time to rest up.
Injury and illness have kept eighth-ranked West High (21-14) from playing with the same lineup that the Women of Troy used at last year’s state tournament.
Head coach Randy Dolson is hoping that a little extra time off will get everyone rested and ready for another postseason push.
“We’d like to have our starting lineup from the state tournament last year,” Dolson said. “We haven’t had it all season but we’re hoping we can have that in the next couple weeks.”
West High showed at last week’s Mississippi Valley Conference tournament it’s a postseason threat by handing top-ranked Cedar Falls its first loss of the season to a Class 5A foe.
“I feel like we are finally getting there,” West High senior Ali Tauchen said. “I just feel like once we get over one hurdle another one comes up but I feel like we are finally all going up now and it will be good.”
Clear Creek Amana and Solon face familiar foes in the opening round of regional play.
Both teams begin postseason play against WAMAC opponents that they faced in the opening round of the Conference tournament last week.
Solon (8-25) travels to fifth-ranked Mount Vernon (30-7) on Wednesday in the opening round of the Class 3A, Region 8 tournament.
The Mustangs have won all three meetings between the two teams this season including a 21-5, 21-13 win in WAMAC tournament pool play last Tuesday.
Clear Creek Amana (21-19) hosts Western Dubuque in a 4A, Region 7 opener on Wednesday after falling to the Bobcats 17-21, 21-15, 15-7 in WAMAC Pool Play on Tuesday.
RVC Rival Rematch
Long-time rivals Regina and West Branch appear headed for another postseason matchup and a fourth meeting this season.
If Regina (21-13) can get past Lisbon (12-14) in Tuesday’s 2A, Region 7 opener the Regals face West Branch (19-15) for a fourth time this season in a regional quarterfinal on Oct. 24.
Regina had the early advantage in the season series with a 2-0 win in the season-opening West Branch Invitational and a 3-1 win at Regina in a RVC South division match.
The Bears won the most recent meeting 22-20, 21-5 in pool play at the RVC Tournament on Tuesday.
Two regular season meetings between City High and Dubuque Hempstead left both sides hoping for a rematch.
The two Mississippi Valley Conference foes may very well get that chance for a shot at the state tournament.
Seventh-ranked Hempstead and No. 10 City High appeared headed for a winner-take-all rubber match in the Region 7 title game.
Each of the first two meetings between the two teams went the distance.
Hempstead rallied for a 20-25, 19-25, 25-21, 25-20, 15-6 win over the Little Hawks in the first meeting on September 13 in Iowa City with City High returning the favor with a 17-21, 21-18, 15-11 win on September 24 at the Dubuque Invitational.
We Meet Again?
The past two seasons have ended the same way for West High, with a loss to Bettendorf in the state quarterfinals.
That won’t be the case this season but if West High is to make a third consecutive state tournament appearance they will likely have to snap their postseason losing streak against the Bulldogs.
With wins over sub-.500 teams in the Class 5A, Region 6 semifinals West High and Bettendorf would meet in the postseason for the third straight season with a state tournament berth on the line.
Bettendorf won the only meeting between the two teams this season 21-19, 19-21, 17-15 back on August 25.