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Bolts survive and sweep the Trojans

Liberty High defeats Iowa City West High, 3-0, in regional semifinal
The Liberty High Lightning celebrate match point Thursday, Oct. 22, in a Class 5A regional semifinal match against Iowa City West High at Liberty. The Lightning held off the Trojans, 3-0, to advance to the regional final match on Tuesday, Oct. 27.

NORTH LIBERTY– The Liberty High Lightning’s hot streak continued on the volleyball court Thursday, Oct. 22, as they swept Iowa City West High, 3-0, at home, in a Class 5A Region 7 semifinal match.
The Bolts and Trojans fought a tight battle early in the first set before Liberty pulled away for a decisive 25-14 win. The Trojans took an early lead in the second set, and kept building, putting the Bolts into a deeper and deeper hole. Liberty Coach Randy Dolson called for a timeout with his squad down, 16-10, however, despite making adjustments, the Bolts continued to lag behind. Liberty trailed, 22-18, before going on a 4-0 run to make it a 22-21 contest with a kill from Kennedy Daugherty. The set tied at 23-all before the Lightning took a 24-23 lead, prompting a Trojan timeout. Shelby Kimm achieved set point on an ace serve for the 26-24 win.
The Trojans put the Bolts back into a hole early in the third set, but an ace serve from Cassidy Hartman tied the set, 7-7. After 8-8, 9-9, 10-10 and 11-11 ties, the Bolts took a 13-11 lead and never looked back on their way to a 25-20 win for the sweep.
Hartman led with a match-high 15 kills, supported by Kimm with 10.
Dolson said he expected a pitched battle from West High, where he coached before starting the Liberty High program.
“We knew West was going to cause some problems for us. They beat (Dubuque) Hempstead last week, we watched them beat City, and they got a lot better,” he said. “It was a really good test for us because we had to overcome adversity more than one time in that match.”
Battling back from deficits, and picking up the win, is something the Bolts have gotten used to.
“You got to play every point, you got to play like this is a championship point, and so we were able to respond,” the coach noted.
Dolson said it was a testament to his players that they were able to come back.
“I just told them, we’ve been there,” he said. “That is a big difference sometimes, when you don’t play those kinds of matches. We had four set points against us at Cedar Falls, back and forth, and back and forth. To play those moments, and play teams like Valley (West Des Moines), it was a good year for us that way picking up some tougher teams and giving us that chance to play through adversity, win or lose, and now we can use that here in the tournament.”
Experience has come quickly for Liberty, a relatively young team led offensively by sophomores.
“We’ve got three (Hartman, Shelby Kimm and Daughtery) sophomores swinging really good for us, we’ve got a freshman setter (Mariah Rollins), we’ve got another sophomore playing right side (Lilah VanScoyoc), who’s putting up good points for us as well,” Dolson observed.
The win advanced Liberty to the Region 7 final on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at home, against Bettendorf with a trip to the state tournament on the line. The Bolts took a 21-2 record into the contest (after this issue’s deadline) against a 12-6 Bettendorf team. The Bolts were ranked fifth in Class 5A in the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union’s final weekly rankings, released on Monday, Oct. 19.
“We lost (last year) at state, but we gained a lot from that with our younger players and I think if we can get back there, that’ll help us,” Dolson said.

Liberty High 3, Iowa City West High 0
Kills— Cassidy Hartman 15, Shelby Kimm 10, Kennedy Daugherty 7, Sam Harvey 7, Lilah VanScoyoc 3, Lauren Roman 1.
Assists— Hailey Hested 25, Mariah Rollins 12, Daugherty 1, Addie Schmierer 1, Gabbie Schroeder 1.
Ace serves— Hartman 2, Kimm 1, Schmierer 1.
Digs— Schmierer 13, Hartman 11, Schroeder 10, Hested 9, Kimm 4, Rollins 4, Harvey 2, Carlie Schroeder 2, Daugherty 1, VanScoyoc 1.
Solo blocks— Kimm 1, Harvey 1, Roman 1.
Block assists— Harvey 3, Kimm 2, Roman 2, Hartman 1.

Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union final weekly rankings, Class 5A
1 Dowling Catholic 19-2
2 Ankeny 18-2
3 Pleasant Valley 18-1
4 West Des Moines Valley 17-6
5 Liberty High 20-2
6 Cedar Falls 25-5
7 Ankeny Centennial 14-9
8 Dubuque Hempstead 18-5
9 Urbandale 10-7
10 Sioux City East 21-6
11 Dubuque Senior 17-9
12 Johnston 18-14
13 Des Moines Roosevelt 7-4
14 Bettendorf 11-6
15 Cedar Rapids Prairie 18-14