CEDAR RAPIDS — Wapsie Valley’s title dreams fell short as they chased Sidney’s fast-paced offense in the Class 1A State Championship Game on Friday at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids.
“That is the difference between [Sidney] and the other teams we played down here,” said Wapsie Valley head coach Heather Robinson. “They do run a faster offense, and it is hard to stay aggressive and play our ball at the same time.”
In the first set, the Warriors fell behind early as the Cowgirls cruised to a 25-17 win.
In the second, Sidney again took a big early lead. However, the Warriors fought back to come from behind and take the set 25-23, which tied the match at 1-1.
However, the Warriors were unable to keep that momentum going in the third set. Sidney dispatched them 25-12 to take a 2-1 lead.
The Cowgirls again took a big lead in the fourth set and held a 24-17 lead at one point. With the Warriors one point from elimination, Wapsie Valley were able to score six straight points until the Cowgirls clinched the win with a 25-23 score.
“We were coming from behind all game and that’s really hard to win when you’re putting the effort in just to catch back up,” Robinson said. “The girls just got in a little funk tonight and they responded differently than they have the past two nights.”
Wapsie Valley combined for 39 kills, 38 assists, one ace, 78 digs and 12 blocks.
Team leaders for the Warriors included Lydia Imbrogno with 15 kills, Kaci Beesecker with 34 assists, Kaylee Heinze with four blocks and McKenna Miller with 25 digs. Other notable statistical performances were Kalvyn Rosengarten with 12 kills, Katie Sauerbrei with three blocks, Beesecker with 22 digs and Imbrogno with 14 digs and three blocks.
Sidney combined for 56 kills, 54 assists, five aces, 99 digs and five blocks.
Team leaders for the Cowgirls included Maddy Duncan with 17 kills, Olivia Larsen with 51 assists, Paige Smith with 24 digs and Kelsey Hobbie with three blocks.
Sidney finishes the season with a 38-6 record, while Wapsie Valley finishes the season with a 25-16 record.
“So phenomenal to end like this,” Robinson said. “To be able to get this far and have success and to have this experience is amazing.”