By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
CEDAR RAPIDS– “Line” has been gone for two months, but losing her still shakes the West High girls varsity volleyball team to its core.
“It’s been a very emotional week” Coach Kathy Bresnahan said Tuesday night (Oct. 11) following West’s 3-0 domination of the Cedar Rapids Jefferson J-Hawks. “They’re sad, they’re angry, they’re frustrated… maybe they took some of that out on Jefferson tonight.”
The Women of Troy jumped out to a 6-1 lead in game one. Shelly Stumpff put up West’s first kill of the night on her way to 14 total for the evening. Olivia Fairfield, freshman Laynie Whitehead and senior Caroline Hartman put up the final three kills for a 25-9 win.
Game two was “painful to watch,” Bresnahan said, noting her respect for the J-Hawk’s coach.
West ran away with an 25-1 final.
Game three was more balanced with West taking a 3-0 lead thanks in part to a Mollie Mason kill. The J-Hawks showed they still had some fight left in them as they countered with a three-point run to tie. But the ladies in green were just too much for the young Jefferson squad to handle, building an 8-5 lead then taking off for a 13-5 advantage. A Fairfield kill and an ace serve by Stumpff made it 15-6. Down 20-9, Jefferson put up six more points in answer to points by Hannah Infelt, Stumpff and Kelley Fliehler. Stumpff put up West’s first point of the night, and she got the last one, too, as West ended the evening 25-15.
Infelt put up nine kills, Fairfield had eight, and Whitehead made five. Hartman and Mason had two each while Anna Pashkova had one. Pashkova led in digs with 10 while Fliehler continued to set the pace for the squad as the setter with 39 assists. Olivia Mekies made 27 of 27 serves with seven aces, and Pashkova had a perfect 10 for 10. Erin Weathers was one for one serving and had a dig as Bresnahan rotated through her entire bench.
“All they want to do is win and make Caroline (Found) proud,” the coach said. “We just miss her so much.”
The West squad was ranked number one in the state by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union in its Oct. 13 rankings, the last for the season. Also, West was to face Dubuque Hempstead at home on Tuesday, Oct. 18, to not only close out the regular season, but to see which team would be No. 1 in the MVC Valley Division.