Perhaps, it was only a matter of time.
Cedar Falls and Waterloo Columbus were knocking on the door to become the first metro schools to win a state volleyball championship after runner-up finishes last season.
That door was broken down in emphatic fashion at this year’s state tournament. Cedar Falls swept its way through the Class 5A field, becoming the first metro volleyball program to win a state title. A few hours later, Columbus added its name to championship list when the Sailors swept Sioux Center in the 3A final.
As a result, the 2017 Waterloo Courier All-Metro volleyball team is the most accomplished group in the history of this annual honor squad. Four members of Cedar Falls’ talented senior class repeated first team honors alongside a trio of Waterloo Columbus standouts and Waterloo West’s talented junior Kaylissa Arndorfer.
The Cedar Falls first team quartet of Tayah Mahi, Taylor Lynch, Grace Burken and Claire Gerdes are each committed to continue their volleyball careers at NCAA Division I programs.
Mahi, the setter who captained of Class 5A’s state all-tournament team, is a four-time first team honoree, while Lynch, a dynamic outside hitter who led 5A with 89 aces, has reached the first team each of the past three years. Burken and Gerdes rotated as middle hitters and helped form an imposing block that never truly allowed opponents to feel comfortable during their return to the first team.
Columbus’ Sinnott, an all-tournament team captain who was named Class 3A’s Player of the Year by the IGCA, is a third-year first team honoree after leading 3A with 533 kills. She was joined on the first team by her setter Olivia Fain, who led 3A with 1,136 assists and libero Kate Shannon, a recent Iowa State commit who led 3A with 66 aces and ranked second in the class with 504 digs.
Arndorfer elevated herself from second team honors a year ago to first team her junior season after leading West with 2.76 kills per set on .309 hitting and averaging 1.59 blocks per set.
The second team featured a pair of Waterloo East seniors in libero Indya Beaman and setter Bri Netty. Senior leaders Abigail Doering of Waterloo Christian and Katelynn Panning of Valley Lutheran were also named to the second team alongside West’s senior outside hitter Shelby Schoonover.
Libero Abby Hendrickson, another key member of Cedar Falls’ deep senior class, returned to second team.
Junior middle Sydney Schultz and sophomore outside hitter Avery Kroll also landed on the second team with their growth key to Columbus’ title run.