IOWA CITY– It was the last regular season volleyball match for the West High Women of Troy and time to honor and say thanks to three seniors. Ally Disterhoft and Emily Merdinger were recognized with manager Emily Carpenter between the sophomore and varsity matches Tuesday night at West. In a gesture of good will and class, the Women of Troy recognized Cedar Rapids Prairie’s seniors (Becca Bell, Brittney Lash, Brenna Nehring and Sara Stevenson) as well.
The warm and fuzzy feelings were soon replaced with the fog of volleyball war as West fell 3-1, denying Kathy Bresnahan’s crew a second-place finish in the MVC Mississippi Division and ending the regular season on a 19-16-0 (overall) and 5-3 (MVC) record.
West took a 13-12 lead in game one, but fell into an 18-14 deficit leading to a West time-out. The Prairie Hawks went on to win the set, 25-16.
A Disterhoft kill in game two led to a 5-5 tie. The set tied again at 12-all and 24-all before Mollie Mason fired a kill shot over the net to give West a 25-24 lead. A kill error by Prairie gave the Women of Troy the 26-24 win.
West was down 13-10 in game three when Mason launched another kill. The home team struggled however, and found themselves down 20-13, prompting Bresnahan to use another time-out. The pit stop paid off as Mikaela Morgan scored with a kill once play resumed. Laynie Whitehead and Disterhoft added kills but West still trailed 23-19 before Prairie took the set, 25-21.
The Trojans built a 10-7 lead in game four before the Hawks tied the match at 11-all. Another Mason kill and a Whitehead ace serve gave West the 14-13 lead. An ace serve and pair of kills led to a 19-18 Prairie lead, and a West time out. The Hawks put up three consecutive points for a 22-18 lead. A Morgan kill narrowed the gap, but would be West’s last point as Prairie flew to the 25-19 win.
Mason led West with 14 kills, Morgan had eight, Disterhoft scored six, Whitehead made five and Hannah Fairfield made four. Toni Martins scored twice, Madi Miller, Merdinger and Lizzy Klemme had one kill apiece.
Whitehead made 20 assists, Klemme had 16 while libero Miller had 23 digs, Martins came up with 16 and Mason had 15. Morgan had West’s only solo block, Whitehead and Disterhoft had five blocks each. At the serve line, Mason was perfect with 15-15, Whitehead made 14-14 with an ace, Morgan made 13-13 with an ace and Martins went 12-13 with an ace.
Based on the outcome of Monday night’s (Oct. 22) regional match at home against Muscatine, the Women of Troy may again face rival City High on Thursday, Oct. 25, at City. A win against the Little Hawks would bring West home for the regional final on Tuesday, Oct. 30. Regional matches start at 7 p.m.
The 2012 State Volleyball Tournament is set for Wednesday, Nov. 7, through Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.