West High senior Emily HalversonBy Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – Sometimes you just need a break.
West High got a long one between the Mississippi Valley Conference tournament and Tuesday’s postseason opener.
With nine days between matches West High had a chance to rest, relax. And even nap.
“It was good for us, we got a couple days off and then we got a couple of days to watch film,” senior Emily Halverson said. “I think it was good to have a mental break also. We got a break to just go home and take a nap and get rejuvenated for practice the next day.”
Halverson and West High looked wide awake on Tuesday.
Three different players had at least nine kills for eighth-ranked West High (22-14) in a 25-11, 25-11, 25-12 sweep of Muscatine in the Class 5A, Region 6 semifinals.
West High never trailed on Tuesday and allowed Muscatine to score back-to-back points just six times in its first action since Oct. 15.
With the win West High advanced to the Region 6 title game and will host ninth-ranked Bettendorf on Monday for a berth in the state tournament.
West High senior Maddie Fay
“We were really focused on taking care of us during the break and just talked about taking it one game at a time,” West High senior Ali Tauchen said. “We were focused on them and now we will focus on Bettendorf.”
Junior Colby Greene led the West High attack with a match-high 11 kills as the Women of Troy held a 44-14 advantage in kills.
Halverson and Emma Norris each had nine kills for West High while Tauchen added seven kills.
“It’s starting to click for us now,” Greene said. “We are starting to get our strengths down and we figured out what we needed to work on and we worked on improving those areas.”
West High jumped to an early 5-1 lead in the opening set behind an ace serve from senior setter Maddie Fay and kills by Greene and sophomore Cailyn Morgan.
The lead grew to 18-7 on back-to-back Greene kills and another Morgan kill before West High closed the set with a 5-1 spurt that featured a pair of kills from Tauchen and a Halverson ace.
“We didn’t want to come out and be flat and have to struggle through that match and I thought we played well enough and did a few nice things,” West High coach Randy Dolson said. “There were a few miscues but overall I was extremely happy with how we played.”
West High scored the first eight points of the second set on its way to a 25-11 win and opened up the third set with five straight points behind two kills from Greene and one from Halverson.
“I Think we played the way that we expected to play,” Halverson said. “We prepared for what we knew we had to be ready for and I think we played well.”
West High substituted frequently through the final two sets as seven different players collected a kill.
Morgan finished with five and Chandler Haight, who has been slowed by injury much of the season had a pair of kills in the win.
“We made a few mental errors and we have to clean up a couple of things but it was just good to be back on the court,” Dolson said. “We did things well enough, we got a lead and we got some kids in.”
West High 25 25 25
Muscatine 11 11 12
Aubrey Sowers 1-1-0, Emma Norris 9-0-0, Ali Tauchen 7-0-0, Emily Halverson 9-1-2, Gabby Klemme 0-1-0, Maddie Fay 0-4-1, Cailyn Morgan 5-0-0, Chandler Haight 2-0-0, Colby Greene 11-0-1, Team 44-8-5.
Assists – Maddie Fay 28, Aubrey Sowers 8.
Erika Eller 1-0-0, Alana Harter 2-0-0, Emma Harden 1-1-0, Catie Cole 4-1-0, Tessa Kerr 2-0-0, Annabelle Henriksen 3-0-0, Carly Bates 1-1-0, Team 14-3-1.
Assists – Mollie Noll 8, Erika Eller 1.