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Monday, May 2, 2016

Wahlert wins state volleyball title with memorable match

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

CEDAR RAPIDS - Dubuque Wahlert's latest state championship in volleyball might be among its most memorable.

Wahlert bounced back after losing the first game to beat Sioux City Heelan in a grueling five-game match Saturday night to claim its 13th state title.

"While three straight in 45 minutes would be a lot easier on my heart, the ones that go a lot longer are the more memorable ones," said coach Tom Keating, who has been responsible for nine of Wahlert's championships.

"This is going to be something to remember."

Wahlert, which had won all 86 of its games against Iowa teams this year, started the Class 3A title match by losing 15-10. The Golden Eagles won the next two games 15-1 and 15-8, lost 16-14 after leading 13-8 and finally put the Crusaders away with a 15-13 victory.

Stephanie May had 25 kills and Rachael Rogers 21 to lead Wahlert. Rogers was named captain of the all-tournament team.

"This is one of those things where a picture is worth a thousand words," Keating said. "It's one of those things where people will say, `You had to be there.' "

Tripoli won the 1A championship for the third straight year and Hull Western Christian won the 2A title for the sixth time.

Senior Megan Wittenburg led Tripoli, which swept Rock Valley 15-4, 15-3, 15-9 to finish 45-1. Its only loss was to Wahlert.

Wittenburg had 15 kills and three ace serves. She showed her versatility by diving for several digs.

"A lot of people are surprised," Wittenburg said. "They think since I'm 6 foot I'm not very mobile. I try to do everything. I like digs and good serves."

Western Christian rallied after losing two of the first three games to beat defending champion Orange City Unity Christian in a matchup of schools only 15 miles apart. The scores were 11-15, 15-7, 7-15, 15-10, 15-11.

"We're a team that always comes back," said setter Carolyn Sybesma, who had 47 assists, 16 digs and seven aces.



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