Spartans look to continue state volleyball run

The+team+getting+a+pep+talk+from+coach%2C+Amber+Hall%2C+at+the+first+home+game+of+the+season+vs.+Central.+

Sam Rothbardt

The team getting a pep talk from coach, Amber Hall, at the first home game of the season vs. Central.

Ian Wilger, Photo Project Manager

2019 has been a successful year for the girls volleyball team. The girls mounted a 29-5 record and won their first game in their highly anticipated state tournament appearance Tuesday afternoon.

Their path to reach the state tournament wasn’t easy. Pleasant Valley downed Bettendorf in three sets to secure their bid at state. The last six years weren’t favorable to the Spartans, as they missed out on state each year since 2012.

Bettendorf was not going to let their rival win a ticket to state easily, making the Spartans battle their way back in each set. Bettendorf kept them on their toes, leading 16-11, 19-14 and 20-16 before Pleasant Valley battled back to win the first and third set.

Pleasant Valley had ten aces, eight more than Bettendorf’s players had. Freshman Chloe Cline led the team with nine kills. Junior Kora Ruff had a whopping 29 assists to help lead the Spartans to victory. 

The Spartans are led by six seniors. Senior Sunny Wolfe said, “My favorite part of playing on this team has been getting to be with my friends and becoming closer to new people over my four years.”

Pleasant Valley has obtained many achievements throughout the year, winning 29 of their 34 games: Close to a school record. The puzzle pieces were finally put together as they slipped into the state tournament with the win over Bettendorf.

The Spartans traveled to the state tournament on Tuesday, ready to take on Iowa City Liberty. Without having played the Lightning this year, the girls had to perfect their game in order to persevere into the tournament.

With this mindset, the girls were able to dominate Liberty, winning 25-17, 25-12, 19-25, 25-20. Pleasant Valley powered through the first two sets with ease and went on long scoring streaks in every set. Varsity player Kaitlyn Morgan said, “Believing in  one another was key in knowing that this was the moment we’ve been working for our entire season.” 

Blocking seemed to be the greatest factor to the Spartans’ success. The girls racked up a season-high 18 blocks, catapulting them to the win in their first state tournament appearance since 2012.

The girls will take on another challenge at the state semifinals against West Des Moines Valley at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, November 15th.