CEDAR RAPIDS -- Grundy Center left no doubt during its return to the Class 2A state volleyball tournament.
The No. 3-ranked Spartans showcased depth and balance throughout their rotation during a sweep of Sidney, 25-12, 25-17, 25-18.
“It’s just amazing to get a win at state,” said Grundy Center senior Landry Luhring. “We came so close my freshman year. We knew we had the potential to do this – and we did."
Diversity was a key as the Spartans had three players with double-digit kills – Kylie Willis 13, Brooke Flater 12, and Hailey Wallis 11.They also effectively used two setters. Emmy Kracht had 23 assists and Sydney Matthews had 10.
“We knew we had to come in here and put the ball down," said Flater, who needed just 15 swings to reach her kill total that came with an .800 hitting efficiency. “And our passes were great, so the setters were able get us the ball where we wanted it.”
Spartans' coach Lori Willis switched to a quicker, more up-tempo game style in her team's biggest match of the season.
“The middle will come in and is actually in the air when the ball is ball is set," Willis said. "This was the first time we have used it in a game, but we have been working on it for five weeks.”
Kyah Luhring led the Grundy Center's defense with 15 digs and the Spartans also held a 7-1 advantage in blocks, while out-hitting Sidney as a team, .314 to .031.
The growth within Grundy Center's rotation was evident throughout this dominating performance as the Spartans improved to 37-6 and Sidney fell to 31-6.
Next up is a battle with perennial power Western Christian 4 p.m. Thursday in a rematch of an opening round state tournament battle that the Wolfpack won a year ago. Grundy Center didn't graduate a single player from that team.