ROCKWELL CITY - The Schaller-Crestland volleyball team is heading back to the state tournament. The #11 Wildcats (27-7) topped #9 Southern Cal (26-7) in four games 25-21, 26-24, 12-25, and 25-18 to make their first trip to state since 2003.
Southern Cal stormed back in a dominant third set, but the Wildcats regrouped to take the match and state berth.
"I told them we had to stay calm and stay focused," said Murra. "It's the team that can stay with their game plan and not get too nervous or bent out of shape that would be the winner. I'd been preaching it all week, just had to give them a reminder."
Schaller-Crestland's attack was again in top form as they served at over 90% collectively on the night and also posted a hitting percentage of 85%.
Roxanne Grundmeier and Katie Murra each tallied 11 kills Tuesday night to lead Schaller-Crestland. Chelsea Clayton had eight kills and three aces while Egypt Clayton posted 15 assists and five kills. Sydney Shell led the Wildcats with 18 assists.
Murra led the Northwest Conference in kills this fall. Chelsea Clayton was fourth and Grundmeier fifth.
The defense was active at the net with 11 blocks on the night led by Murra's three. Lisa Schmidt, Chelsea Clayton, Egypt Clayton, and Grundmeier all added two apiece.
Schaller-Crestland led the Northwest Conference in blocks this season with Murra, Chelsea Clayton, Egypt Clayton, and Grundmeier all in the conference's top ten.
Grundmeier led the Wildcats with 15 digs while Alyssa Drey added 13, and Kaitlin Franken was also in double digits with ten.
The Wildcats have won seven straight and thirteen of their last fourteen heading into the state tournament.
S-C's first round opponent will be the #4 AGWSR Cougars (31-4) who enters on an 11 game win streak including a win over #2 Don Bosco (29-4) to earn their state berth.
The quarterfinal matchup between the Wildcats and the Cougars will be Thursday November 13th at 2:15PM.
Matches to be held at the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids.
The winner will play again Friday night at 6PM against the winner of Grandview Park Baptist and New London.