KMAland Volleyball

Volleyball on Wood Floor

(KMAland) -- Today’s blog is going to be short and it’s going to be tough. I was almost hoping to not even write anything today, as it would mean the area volleyball teams did nothing but win the last couple evenings.

However, there were some teams that had their seasons come to an end, and with it, there were seniors that played for the final time. And it gets harder and harder to do this the deeper we get. Here we go…

Lewis Central (19-7): I wasn’t really sure what to think of Lewis Central heading into the season. They lost some generational talents over the last several years, and there were more questions on the roster than there had been in a while. Yet, there they were, back in a regional final on Tuesday night.

There were a lot of young contributors, but there were also six seniors that were important to their success this year. Elizabeth Casey, Madisyn Havermann, Macy Mulder, Reese Rochleau and Grace Ruzicka all had roles in helping the Titans move back on the precipice of a trip to Cedar Rapids.

Sioux City East (22-7): Another solid season for the Black Raiders, which won at least 19 matches for the eighth consecutive season. And as has usually been the case, the senior class was a big part of that. That group included Bailey Copple, Riley Donahue, Bailey Holbrook, Chloe Kramer, Kaitlyn Stoos, Emma Vlahoulis and Lineya Wells. They all played in at least 11 matches this year and four of them were nightly rotational players.

Southeast Warren (25-1): The Warhawks won their first 25 matches before succumbing to New London in a regional final last night. They have plenty to hang their hats on after this great year, including a Pride of Iowa Conference championship. The amazing (and scary) thing about this team? They only have two seniors on the roster.

Now, these two seniors were definitely very, very vital to their success and will not be easily replaced. Brooklynn Page was the team’s libero and led the way in digs while middle hitter Makayla Ruble was the team’s No. 2 or 3 hitter – depending on the night – and among the top two blockers in the middle of the net.

Stanton (25-6): The Viqueens were not far away. They easily could have won last night’s first and second sets against a two-loss Gladbrook-Reinbeck team, and if they do, who knows how that one turns out? I think the thing that I will definitely remember about this team is that they didn’t want to take any chances. They wore masks while they played, and it didn’t bother the joy that they played with one tiny iota. Their joy brought us all joy.

All four of their seniors will be dearly missed as they were big pieces of the puzzle. Tara Peterson was a four-year player and the heart and soul of this year’s squad. Nicole Vorhies turned into a fantastic setter, and Brooklyn Adams was huge at the libero position this year. And finally, Hope Ogletree put together a solid year of her own, made her role her own and was another outstanding piece of the puzzle.

Underwood (26-6): Phew, this one puts a pit in my stomach. I was there last night, and I saw the hurt all over the faces of this amazing team. What a group, though. They were mostly four-year players that won nine matches in their freshman year. Then they won 23 and then 30 and then another 26. The fact that all of their hard work won’t pay off with a trip to Cedar Rapids is why this pit is getting bigger and bigger. But…

There were plenty pay offs for their hard work. They had so much success over the last several years, and they were so fun to watch. They brought scrap, they brought energy and they brought power. Oh man, the power they played with was so fun and so captivating.

There are seven seniors on this roster and six of them played big roles last night. The list in alphabetical order is Peyton Cook, Brianna Justsen, Taylor Nelson, Allie Robertson, Zoe Rus, Haylee Seidler and Macy VanFossan. That’s the senior group that had the Eagles on the brink of a state tournament for the first time since 2004. I could individualize them and talk about each, but I feel like this group deserves to be remembered together forever and ever. They may not have clinched a trip to state, but I think they made that goal realistic again in Underwood. And that means more than they will ever know.

On to state we go from here. I’ll have the call of all Glenwood, Red Oak and St. Albert matches next week. Let’s go ahead and make it a busy week for me, huh?

Send any questions, comments and/or concerns to dmartin@kmaland.com.

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