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The dream season comes to an end

Pleasant Valley ends Liberty High’s first state tourney campaign
The Liberty High Lightning pose with their State Tournament Quarterfinalist trophy Tuesday, Nov. 12, at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids. The Bolts fell, 3-1, to the Pleasant Valley Spartans in the Class 5A quarterfinals, ending their first state tourney appearance and the 2019 season at 34-3 overall.

CEDAR RAPIDS– Liberty High’s third season of varsity competition came to an end Tuesday, Nov. 12, with a heartbreaking loss to Pleasant Valley (PV) in the Class 5A state volleyball quarterfinals at the U.S. Cellular Center, in Cedar Rapids. The No. 7 Spartans upset the No. 2 Lightning, 3-1 (25-17, 25-12, 19-25, 25-20), ending Liberty’s dream season with a 34-3 record overall, improving their own to 30-5.
The Bolts were shocked by a quick 4-0 deficit in the first set but regrouped and began to climb out of the hole. Rylee Fay, the senior transfer from Iowa City West High, put up a kill which narrowed the gap to 7-9. The Spartans kept piling on the points, keeping Liberty at arm’s length. Pleasant Valley took the set, 25-17.
Things didn’t go much better in the second set as PV ran up a 6-0 lead, and was up 15-5 and 20-8. Freshman Cassidy Hartmann made it 21-10 and 22-12 with kills but the Spartans prevailed, 25-12, for a 2-0 lead.
The Lightning averted a sweep, extending the match with a 25-19 win in the third set. Liberty opened with a kill from Hartmann for a 1-0 lead, the Bolts’ first of the afternoon. It quickly built to a 6-1 advantage before the Spartans recovered and came battling back to a 14-14 tie. As the battle for the lead shifted back and forth, senior LeeAnn Potter slammed a kill over the net for a 20-18 lead. A 21-18 advantage by the Bolts sent the Spartans to their first timeout of the afternoon. Junior Lauren Roman put up a kill to make it 22-18 and Liberty held on for a 25-19 win.
Momentum seemed to be on the Lightning’s side in the fourth set as they held an 11-7 lead. The Spartans rallied back to take a 14-13 lead, which was extended to 19-16, and led to a Liberty timeout. The Spartans took the set 25-20 and the match 3-1 to advance to the semifinal round.
Fay led the Lightning with seven kills and Hartmann and fellow freshman Shelby Kimm produced six each. Fay also had 14 assists with a dozen from junior Haley Hested. Junior Addie Schmierer made 23 digs, while freshman Kennedy Daugherty and junior Lauren Roman had one solo block each.
In other quarterfinal action, top-ranked Cedar Falls outlasted Waukee, 3-2. Ankeny swept Council Bluffs, Abraham Lincoln, 3-0. Cedar Falls and Ankeny tangled in the semifinals on Thursday, Nov. 14. Also, Valley, West Des Moines, defeated West Des Moines Dowling Catholic, 3-1, which pitted the Spartans against the Valley High Tigers in the semis, as well. The 5A championship was set for Friday, Nov. 15.

2019 Class 5A State Quarterfinals, Tuesday, Nov. 12
Pleasant Valley 3, Liberty High 1
Pleasant Valley 25 25 19 25
Iowa City Liberty 17 12 25 20
Kills — Rylee Fay 7, Cassidy Hartmann 6, Shelby Kimm 6, Lauren Roman 5, LeeAnn Potter 5, Kennedy Daugherty 4.
Assists — Fay 14, Haley Hested 12, Addie Schmierer 3, Sydney Woods 1.
Digs — Schmierer 23, Potter 9, Hested 4, Fay 4, Daugherty 2, Kimm 2, Piper Koski 2, Woods 2, Hartmann 1.
Block Assists — Roman 2, Potter 2.
Blocks Solo — Daugherty 1, Roman 1.
Ace Serves — Hartmann 2, Hested 2, Potter 1.