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Lightning shock the Little Hawks

Liberty High sweeps City, 3-0, in volleyball season opener
Junior Addie Schmierer smacks the ball toward the front row players in a bid to keep the ball alive Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, at Cedar Rapids Xavier. Schmierer, a libero, led Liberty in digs last season with 278, was third in assists and received an MVC Honorable Mention.

NORTH LIBERTY– The Liberty High varsity volleyball program ended the 2019 season at the Class 5A state tournament, in Cedar Rapids, falling, 3-1, to Pleasant Valley in the quarterfinals. It was a big step for the program, in only its third year, said Coach Randy Dolson, noting the Lightning are looking to return to the U.S. Cellular Center, in Cedar Rapids (home of the state tourney), again this year.
The Bolts started the journey on the right foot with a home sweep of City High on Tuesday, Sept. 1. Liberty took set one, 25-11, survived the second set, 25-22, and put the match away with a 25-15 performance in the third set.
Sophomore Cassidy Hartman led the team with 14 kills, while fellow sophomore Shelby Kimm had eight.
The team returns three seniors, Hailey Hested, Lauren Roman and Addie Schmierer, to the starting line-up. Hested, a setter, was second in team assists and in aces last season and received a Mississippi Valley Conference (MVC) Honorable Mention. Roman, a middle blocker, led the team in blocks last year with 65 and was fourth on the squad in kills with 124 while Schmierer, a libero, led the team in digs with 278 was third in assists. Schmierer also received an MVC Honorable Mention. Junior Sydney Woods, an outside hitter, is also back in the starting line-up. Woods was third on the team in kills last year with 169 and was third in ace serves with 45. She was also third in digs with 172. Hartman, a middle blocker and outside hitter, led the Bolts in kills last season with 242 and took second in blocks with 61. Hartman received MVC First Team recognition along with an All-State Honorable Mention. Kimm, an outside hitter, was fourth on the team in kills with 163 and fourth in blocks with 40.
Liberty returns juniors Sam Harvey, Gabbie Schroeder and Carlie Schroeder along with sophomore Kennedy Daugherty. Harvey, an outside hitter, was a part-time starter on the right side and is in the mix this year for a right-side position. Gabbie Schroeder is a dependable defensive specialist and libero, Dolson said, with a great serve. She will battle for playing time this year as a defensive specialist. Carlie Schroeder, a setter, will fight for a starting setting position in the Bolts’ 6-2 offense, the coach said. Daugherty, an outside hitter, was, “A versatile player who was first off the bench last season. She will fight for a starting outside hitter position.”
New to the varsity ranks this year are junior Chante Hardaway, sophomore Lilah Van Scoyoc, and freshman Mariah Rollins. Hardaway is a middle blocker who transferred in from Pleasant Valley and will battle for a middle blocker position, adding much-needed depth at that position. Van Scoyoc is a dynamic player who is in the mix for a starting outside hitter position on the right side while Rollins, a setter, will also be fighting for a starting position.
“Finding our second setter in our 6-2 offense is the biggest question mark heading into the season,” said Dolson. “We have plenty of offensive depth and quality floor defenders. If the chemistry comes together, and our passing and serving takes hold, nothing is out of the realm of possibilities for this team.”
Dolson said Liberty’s strengths include experience, depth and talent. “I would think that Liberty would be in the mix for a divisional crown along with Linn-Mar, Western Dubuque and Cedar Falls.”
Last year, Liberty won the MVC Valley Division title on its way to a 34-3 record overall and a 6-1 conference showing. Dolson brings 35 years as a club, college and high school coach, with three years in at Liberty after moving over from West High to build the program from scratch. Allie Hutcheson, Peggy Dolson, Stacey Casey and Tristan Sievers assist him this year.

Liberty High vs. City High, Tuesday, Sept. 1
Liberty High 3, City High 0
Kills— Cassidy Hartman 14, Shelby Kimm 8, Laruen Roman 4, Lilah Van Scoyoc 4, Sydney Woods 2, Sam Harvey 2.
Ace serves— Kimm 3, Hailey Hested 3, Gabbie Schroeder 3, Hartman 3, Addie Schmierer 1.
Solo Blocks— Roman 1, Hartman 1.
Block Assists— Kimm 2, Van Scoyoc 2, Roman 1, Hartman 1.
Digs— Hartman 11, Schmierer 9, Gabbie Schroeder 9, Hested 8, Kimm 2, Harvey 2, Mariah Rollins 2.
Assists— Hested 18, Rollins 11, Schmierer 2, Gabbie Schroeder 2, Kimm 1.

2020 Liberty High varsity volleyball schedule
*Schedule subject to change at any time
Saturday, Sept. 12 AT Iowa City West High (tourney) 9 a.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 15 HOME vs. Western Dubuque, Epworth 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 22 AT Cedar Falls 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 26 HOME INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT 9 a.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 29 HOME vs. Cedar Rapids Prairie 7 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 1 HOME vs. Cedar Rapids Washington 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 6 AT Dubuque Wahlert Catholic High School 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 10 AT Pella High School Invitational 9 a.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 13 AT MVC Tournament 5 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 17 AT Cedar Rapids Xavier Catholic High School 5 p.m.