Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
The most exciting part of the volleyball season has yet to begin.
Postseason play starts this week with Regional openers for area teams on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Before the attention turns to what lies ahead in the postseason here is a quick look back at some of the highlights from the regular season.
Best Individual performance: Abbey Fryauf against Camanche. Fryauf had plenty of strong matches during her career at West Branch but her performances against 3A seventh-ranked Camanche is towards the top of that list.
Fryauf had 31 kills in the four-set loss, hitting .373 on her way to her career-high kill output and added 11 digs and an ace block.
Best Individual performance part II: Jaedynn Evans against Wilton. Evans posting impressive stat lines become such a regular occurrence it was almost routine to see the Regina logging 20-kill performances (Evans had 19 or more kills five times in eight RVC matches). She had 26 kills in a 5-set loss to Cascade and averaged seven per set in a sweep of Monticello but her best effort came in a four-set loss to No. 12 Wilton. Evans hit. 300 with 25 kills and added 27 digs in the loss to the Beavers.
Best Team performance: City High against Western Dubuque. The statistics aren’t all that pretty (City High hit just .129) but the way City High earned its five-set win over Western Dubuque was much more important.
After falling 31-29 in the second set and 25-18 in the third the Little Hawks roared back to secure the match with 25-22 and 15-9 wins in the final two sets.
City High had four players with at least eight kills in the win that spurred a string of seven wins in eight matches.
Comeback POY: Liberty High sophomore Haley Hested. Injuries sidelined Hested for nearly half of last season but she excelled in an expanded role this fall.
Hested ranked eighth in Class 4A with 715 assists and added 66 kills and 154 digs while directing the Lightning to a 19-14 record.
Coach of the year: Tricia Carty didn’t find out she would be shifting from assistant to head coach until July and was without an assistant coach as fall camp opened. All Carty did was lead City High to 23 wins and a No. 11 ranking in Class 5A entering the postseason.
Best Upset: Solon spent most of the regular season proving it wasn’t an upset but the Spartans 3-0 performance at the early season Marshalltown Tournament on 8-30 was an eye-opener. The Spartans had three-set wins over 5A Marshalltown, Waterloo Columbus and a sweep of 4A No. 9 Waverly-Shell Rock.
Best Match: Liberty High over Clear Creek Amana. It won’t take many more matches like this one for these two neighboring schools to develop quite a rivalry on the court.
Liberty High came up with enough plays late to secure a 26-28, 25-17, 23-25, 25-17, 15-9 win over the Clippers in Tiffin.
Breakthrough performer: Solon sophomore Lauren Schrock. The 6-foot Schrock was solid as a freshman with 148 kills but took it to another level this season. Schrock averaged 2.93 kills per set and hit .312 on her way to a team-high 223 kills.
Most Versatile: West High junior Rylee Fay. Injuries slowed Fay early last season but she gave a reminder of how versatile and vital she is to West High this fall. The 5-foot-9 setter led West High in assists (561), ace serves (66) and blocks (51) while ranking third on the team with 129 kills.
Unsung hero: Liberty High junior LeeAnn Potter. As the top hitter on a ranked team Potter doesn’t fit the traditional ‘unsung hero’. However, in her first season playing in the always loaded Mississippi Valley Conference Potter was hardly one of the big names in the talent-laded MVC. After putting up 310 kills and team-highs of 278 digs and 39 aces that will change going forward.
Freshman of the year: Clear Creek Amana freshman Calia Clubb. Clubb didn’t play like a freshman while leading the Clippers with 229 kills.
Clubb ranked second on the team with 33 blocks and added 199 digs and 32 aces in her debut season.
Freshman of the year part II: West Branch freshman Lexi Klinkkamer. Club was just too impressive to not earn the freshman of the year nod but Klinkkamer was equally impressive in her varsity debut season.
Kinkkammer was second on the team with 181 kills, led the Bears with 45 ace serves and ranked third with 131 digs.
Most valuable player: City High senior Ellie Evans. There are players with better stats than Evans, and she could easily share this spot with classmate Mackenzie Murphy who has had an excellent season, but the senior was the rock for a City High squad that closed the regular season playing its best volleyball of the season.
Evans led City High in kills (265) and digs (317) and ranked second on the team in both blocks (30) and aces (33) to help the Little Hawks to a 23-12 record.
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