PREP VOLLEYBALL: Iowa serves up victory in first round

IOWA — Iowa served up 17 aces Tuesday to sweep De-Quincy 25-9, 25-18, 25-9 in the opening round of the Division III volleyball playoffs.

Ana Alexander opened the match with a pair of aces and finished with three. Kamryn Howard and Maddie Jongbloed had five aces apiece and Ella Arabie added four.

“We served well,” Iowa head coach Grant Anderson said. “Whenever we passed well, we were moving fast and created some good offense.

“We got some good swings from our middles (hitters) and outsides. You have to try to win the serving and passing game. It is about serving tough and continuing to put pressure on people. We missed our share, but we did serve well tonight.”

Howard had a pair of aces in the third set that helped fuel a 10-1 run, and Jongbloed had two back-to-back to close out the match.

No. 7 Iowa (18-18) won its fourth consecutive playoff opener and will play the winner of No. 10 Berwick and No. 23 Crowley in the regional round, looking to return to the state tournament for the second time in three seasons.

“It is a win, and that is all that matters,” Anderson said. “Once you get to the playoffs, there is not a lot of coaching that you can do. It is just trying to make adjustments.

“I thought our kids played well. We got a little shaky, but there is no style point in the playoffs. “We are going to go to work. My kids don’t shy away from work. We just need to try to get cleaner.”

DeQuincy (8-13) never led in the first set but did tie it at 2-2 on a Madison Winters kill.

The Tigers started the second set strong with a 6-4 lead, but Iowa went to outside hitters Bentley Richard and Jongbloed to pull ahead 14-13. Richard had eight kills, Jongbloed finished with seven and Arabie had a match-high nine.

“The kids are resilient,” DeQuincy head coach Chad Kellogg said. “They will get in there and fight hard. That is the way it has been all season. They hustle and fight hard. There were just a few mistakes — bad serves, bad passing.

“(Iowa is) a good ball club. They are No. 7 in the state for a reason.”

Alexander led Iowa with 25 assists and 15 digs.

Raeleigh Granger was the Tigers’ top hitter with four kills, and Kamryn Mitchell had two kills and two blocks.

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