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Liberty volleyball makes history again

2nd state tourney appearance nets 2nd place trophy
Gabbie Schroeder, Cassidy Hartman, Shelby Kimm, Lauren Roman, Haley Hested and Sam Harvey celebrate a point Wednesday, Nov. 4, in a Class 5A state tournament semifinal match against West Des Moines Dowling Catholic. The Lightning won 3-2 to advance to the championship match, but fell 3-1 to Ankeny.

CEDAR RAPIDS– Liberty High School’s varsity volleyball program is only four years old, so when it comes to making school history, it’s something of a routine.
Except the “Bolts” have written an entire new chapter with their second consecutive state tournament appearance.
After a shortened season (due to a three-week hiatus from the Iowa City Community School District’s transition to 100 percent virtual learning), the Lightning pounded out 20 matches in 22 days, all without a single five-set match. They blitzed through the postseason with 3-0 wins over Iowa City West and Bettendorf, and entered the 2020 state tournament seeded fifth in Class 5A.
Liberty opened up the 5A tournament in the recently rebranded Alliant Entergy Power House (formerly the U.S. Cellular Center) Arena in Cedar Rapids on Monday, Nov. 2, by taking down fourth-seed West Des Moines Valley, 3-1.
The Lightning held on for a 25-20 first set win, but were bit by the Tigers in the second set for a 25-20 loss. Liberty rallied back with a 25-17 third-set win, and outlasted Valley 26-24 in the fourth. Cassidy Hartman, a sophomore, led Liberty with 17 kills. Valley’s Hayden Kubik, however, had a match-high 25. Hartman found support from sophomores Kennedy Daughtery and Shelby Kimm with eight and seven kills, respectively, while junior Sam Harvey put up six.

No. 5 Liberty High 3, No. 4 West Des Moines Valley 1
25-20, 20-25, 25-17, 26-24
Kills — Cassidy Hartman 17, Kennedy Daugherty 8, Shelby Kimm 7, Sam Harvey 6, Lilah VanScoyoc 3.
Assists — Haley Hested 19, Mariah Rollins 17, Addie Schmierer 3.
Ace serves — Schmierer 3, Gabbie Schroeder 2, Carlie Schroeder 2, Kimm 1, Hartman 1.
Digs — Schmierer 18, Hartman 11, G. Schroeder 4, Rollins 4, Daugherty 3, Hested 3, Harvey 2, Kimm 1, C. Schroeder 1.
Solo blocks — Lauren Roman 1.
Block assists — Roman 6, Kimm 3, Harvey 2, Hested 2, Hartman 2, VanScoyoc 2, Daugherty 1.

The top-seeded Maroons of West Des Moines Dowling Catholic provided the Bolts with their toughest challenge of the season in the semifinals on Wednesday, Nov. 4.
The Lightning took the first set 25-19, but the Maroons recovered and battled their way to a 25-23 second-set win. The Bolts unloaded on Dowling in the third set for a 25-15 win and 2-1 advantage, but the Maroons edged ahead late in the fourth set for a 25-23 win, which set the stage for Liberty’s first five-set match of the season.
As mentioned earlier, the Arena in downtown Cedar Rapids is now “the Power House,” and Liberty’s Lightning apparently tapped into a power source as they unleashed their full fury upon the Maroons in the fifth set with an early and dominating lead. As Dowling fought back, and tightened up the score, Hartman went nuclear with her own devastating eight-kill attack before the 15-12 victory was secured. Hartman blew the lid off the box score with a match-high 35 kills. Junior Sam Harvey added 10 kills, with eight from Daugherty and seven from Kimm. Sophomore Lilah VanScoyoc produced five kills with three from Lauren Roman, a senior.

Liberty High 3, West Des Moines Dowling Catholic 2
25-19, 23-25, 25-15, 23-25, 15-12
Kills — Cassidy Hartman 35, Sam Harvey 10, Kennedy Daugherty 8, Shelby Kimm 7, Lilah VanScoyoc 5, Lauren Roman 3.
Assists — Haley Hested 35, Mariah Rollins 18, Addie Schmierer 6, Gabbie Schroeder 3, Kimm 1.
Ace serves — Hartman 4, Hested 2, Schmierer 1.
Digs — Hartman 18, G. Schroeder 16, Hested 10, Schmierer 10, Kimm 9, Rollins 6, Harvey 5, Daugherty 4, Roman 1, Carlie Schroeder 1, VanScoyoc 1.
Solo blocks — 0.
Block assists — Roman 4, Kimm 4, Daugherty 3, Harvey 2, Hartman 2, Hested 1.

With a major upset win on their tourney resume, the Bolts moved onto their first-ever championship match, facing second-seeded Ankeny. The Hawkettes took the first two sets 25-21 and 25-17, but as they have throughout the season, the Lightning recharged and overpowered the Hawkettes in the third set with a 25-21 win. Unfortunately, the Lightning’s charge ran out in the fourth as Ankeny flew away with a 25-19 win for the match, and the 5A championship.
Hartman had a match-high 18 kills in the contest with a 15-kill performance from Kimm, while Harvey and Daugherty made six apiece.
“We came into it like, we’re the underdogs, we’ve got nothing to lose,” said Addie Schmierer, a senior and the team’s libero. She expressed her pride in her teammates for making it to the final round. As a senior, Schmierer has been with the varsity program from the start. “We came from nothing, and to get this far it’s like… we did this. We built this program and I just think it is so cool to see.” The sophomores, she pointed out, have now been to state for both of their seasons. “I think they’re going to accomplish so much more and I’m excited to see where that gets them,” Schmierer added.
“I think we came out a little nervous,” said Hartman of the final match. “That caused us to be a little hesitant in the first two sets. We just knew we had to play our volleyball game, which helped us carry on in the last two sets. I think we gave it our all toward the end, and I’m proud of us.” Hartman said the Lightning flew in under the radar. “Not a lot of teams knew who we were, like how good we were, and we just showed them we were here to win, and that we could do it.”
Liberty finished the season at 24-3 and loses Schmierer, Lauren Roman, Haley Hested and Hannah Vogts to graduation in the spring. Schmierer and Hartman were named to the 2020 Class 5A All-Tournament Team, and Schmierer was also selected for the Iowa Girls Coaches Association’s 2020 Senior Volleyball Classic, as well as the Association’s Academic All-State Volleyball Team along with Gracie Gingerich and Vogts.

Ankeny 3, Liberty High 1
25-21, 25-17, 21-25, 25-19
Kills — Cassidy Hartman 18, Shelby Kimm 15, Sam Harvey 6, Kennedy Daugherty 6, Lilah VanScoyoc 4, Haley Hested 2, Lauren Roman 1, Gabbie Schroeder 1.
Assists — Hested 25, Mariah Rollins 19, Roman 1, Hartman 1, Addie Schmierer 1.
Ace serves — Hartman 2, Hested 1, G. Schroeder 1, Carlie Schroeder 1.
Digs — Hartman 20, Hested 13, G. Schroeder 12, Rollins 11, Schmierer 8, Kimm 3, Harvey 2, VanScoyoc 2, Daugherty 1.
Solo blocks — 0.
Block assists — Harvey 3, Roman 2, Kimm 2, Hartman 1.

2020 Class 5A All-Tournament Team
Aowyn Schrader, Ankeny
Addie Schmierer, Liberty High
Kora Ruff, Pleasant Valley
Emerson Thelen, Dowling Catholic
Ava Reynolds, Ankeny
Cassidy Hartman, Liberty High
Phyona Schrader, Ankeny (Captain)