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West volleyball rises to number one spot

By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
IOWA CITY– West High coach Kathy Bresnahan wants her Women of Troy to be in the top two or three teams in Class 4A, and so far she has her wish. The West High ladies rose to number one in the Sept. 28, weekly rankings by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, rising ahead of rival City High.
The ranking comes on the heels of a 3-0 win at home Tuesday night (Sept. 27) over Linn-Mar. West took a quick 4-0 lead in game one and never looked back, taking the first set 25-14. Olivia Fairfield, Mollie Mason, Layne Whitehead, Shelly Stumpff and Kelley Fliehler put up a dozen kills in the affair.
Game two opened with kills by Stumpff and Fliehler and again was quickly 5-0. Fairfield, Stumpff, Whitehead and Olivia “Squeaks” Mekies made it 18-7. A Fairfield kill ended the match 25-11.
In the finale, the Lions of Linn-Mar came to life, battling point-by-point with the Women of Troy in a pitched back-and-forth battle, which again was led-off by a Stumpff kill. Fairfield and Mason kept the points coming for West, and a Mason kill gave the ladies in green the 7-6 lead. West never trailed after that point, and continued on their way to a 25-10 win to close the deal.
Fairfield and Stumpff put up 10 kills each, Whitehead had seven, Mason put up four, and it was two kills each for Fliehler and Infelt. Fliehler had 32 assists, Anna “The Russian” Pashkova came up with 17 digs– as the Libero, Mason made seven, Mekies and Fliehler had four apiece. Fairfield had 10 block assists to lead the defensive effort.
Mekies was a perfect 12-12 in serves with an ace, Fliehler made 24-25 with a pair of aces; Mason went 6-7 with an ace. Pashkova made 12-14, while Stumpff had eight of 10.
West’s record improved to 20-5.
“We need to execute better,” Coach Bresnahan said afterward. “We made too many errors; we just weren’t that sharp tonight.” However, she also saw, “…very experienced hitters having their way at the net, doing what All-State hitters should do.” Overall, Bresnahan was pleased. “We controlled the match.”
KCRG broadcast and taped the match for their Channel 9.2, with re-broadcasts scheduled for Oct. 5 at 8 p.m.; Oct. 9 at 12:30 p.m.; and Oct. 14, at 5 a.m. Live play of the Women of Troy can be seen in-person on Saturday, Oct. 8, as West travels to Cedar Rapids Jefferson for the J-Hawk Invitational. On Oct. 11, West is back at Jefferson for MVC play before returning home to host the MVC Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 15.
The regular season ends at home on Tuesday, Oct. 18, against Dubuque Hempstead. Regional Tournament action follows on the road to the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.
The Women of Troy plan to be there not only to defend their 2010 title, but also for Caroline.
“We’re more determined than ever,” Bresnahan said.