CEDAR RAPIDS — Class 3A’s No. 2 Dike-New Hartford advanced to the semifinals of the state volleyball tournament with a win over No. 11 North Polk Wednesday in the quarterfinal round at the U.S. Cellular Center.
It was far from effortless as it took the Wolverine four sets to eliminate the Comets, 23-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-22.
In fact, North Polk put D-NH on its heels early.
“In the first set, our execution was not there,” Dike-New Hartford coach Diane Harms said. “We were passing the ball pretty tight and we weren’t passing consistently.
“But the passing got better in the second, third, and fourth set and we picked up our serve receive.”
D-NH kept its cool and gradually took control of the match.
“It’s our schedule,” said Harms of her team’s poise in the face of adversity. “We have played some very good teams and had some close matches in both our conference play and our Saturday tournaments.
“For matches like this, we prepare by working on the things we can control like serve-receive. And then in the close sets, like the fourth one, we want to stay aggressive and hope that we are not the team who is making mistakes.”
North Polk’s Hannah Becker, a 6-foot-2 senior, was the main nemesis for the Wolverines as she led all players with 22 kills
For D-NH, Baylee Petersen had 19 kills and Madison Lavenz had 14. In addition to a pair of serving aces, Madison Hedges was credited with 48 assists.
“Both teams just played hard and we came out on top at the end,” said Wolverines senior Haleigh Durnin.
North Polk bows out with a 37-10 record while Dike-New Hartford (46-5) moves on to meet No. 4 Carroll Kuemper (29-1) in the semifinals today at 2 p.m.