By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – Nearly two years removed from her last varsity volleyball the plan for Alex Wiese this season would figure to be a familiar one.
The Regina junior middle would spend a few weeks knocking off the rust and sorting through some nerves while adjusting to her new teammates and coaches.
Never one to settle for the status quo Wiese opted to follower her own more ambitious plan and she has followed it to perfection.
In her first taste of varsity volleyball since a standout freshman season at Tipton in 2015, Wiese has played a central role in helping Regina to a 14-3 start and No. 15 rating in Class 2A.
“I wasn’t nervous or rusty or anything like that,” Wiese said. “I was just excited to get to play again and try to help us win.”
Wiese burst onto the scene two seasons ago, hammering 362 kills as a freshman at Tipton.
She tore her ACL during her freshman basketball season and spent her first season at Regina playing junior varsity volleyball last fall.
Limited to junior varsity action and working her knee back into shape Wiese wasn’t about to let a full season go to waste.
Instead she spent last fall working on everything she could to be ready for this year.
“I just tried to work on mechanics and getting back into it,” Wiese said. “I hadn’t played since my freshman year when I tore my ACL so it was a good time to work on getting back into it.”
That work has paid off so far.
The 6-foot Wiese has a team-high 169 kills for Regina this season and is averaging 4.12 kills per set, up from the 3.89 kills per set she averaged as a freshman in 2015.
“She can be really loud when you really need somebody to be and you can go to her when you need to,” first-year Regina coach Jordyn Akers said. “It’s nice to have some go-to players that can be obnoxious when you ask them to be.”
Wiese isn’t a one-dimensional player.
She is third on the team in both ace serves (18) and digs (149) and is tied for the team lead with 19 blocks.
“She has been a pretty solid go-to person,” Akers said. “She wants to be on the court for everything and she wants to be involved in everything so it has been really nice to have that.”
While Wiese didn’t need much time to re-acclimate herself to the varsity game she does continue to improve the more she plays.
As Wiese improves so do the Regals who have won six straight matches entering Thursday’s River Valley Conference South Division match at Durant.
“Everybody has been getting a little bit more and more efficient and she has been a big part of that,” Akers said. “I definitely think we are continuing to improve.”
All three losses for Regina came to top-10 Class 3A opponents Tipton and Waterloo Columbus in a three-day span.
Since a three-set loss to Tipton at the Mount Vernon tournament on Sept. 2 the Regals have rattled off six wins in a row.
“I think the turning point for us was when we took a point from Tipton at the Mount Vernon tournament,” Akers said. “Even in the last week and a half it’s been crazy to see the progress.”
Wiese has been at the center of that surge.
She had a combined 32 kills in back-to-back RVC wins over Mid-Prairie and 3A No. 14 Camanche and had 29 kills on Saturday as Regina went 4-0 to win the the Nike Invitational in West Burlington.
“After we lost that second set against Camanche we really clicked,” Wiese said. “We got together for the next two and secured that win and that was a big moment for us.”
During the six-match winning streak Wiese is averaging 4.2 kills per set and has 10 ace serves and 67 digs.
“We keep getting better and I think we have a lot of potential,” Wiese said. “I feel like we can be really good.”