The West Liberty High School volleyball team ended their regular season Saturday with losses to top state-ranked teams after keeping a perfect home record last Thursday, preparing themselves for a Class 3A state tournament run that begins Monday.
The team went 2-3 in the week after competing in a power-packed tournament – Cedar Rapids Jefferson’s Westside Invitational – in completing their regular season with a 22-6 mark, including losing six of their last 11 matches against highly ranked teams mostly in bigger state classes.
The Comets are ranked ninth in Class 3A as of the Oct 8 poll by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union.
The week started out on a high note on Thursday as the Comets got an opportunity to end the regular season strong in front of the hometown faithful as Anamosa came to town.
The Comets got a sneak peek at their first-round state Regional foe and came out swinging in the opening set taking a 25-13 victory. The Comets wasted no time in the second set, winning again, 25-16, before finishing off their foes 25-19 in the third and final set.
The Comets went a perfect 4-0 in their home gym on the season, not dropping a single set.
Junior Macy Daufeldt led the Comets in kills on the night recording 16, set up mostly by sophomore Brooklyn Buysse, who notched 36 assists. Senior Averi Goodale lifted the Comets at the net, recording three blocks in her final regular season match as a Comet. Sophomore Monica Morales tallied 16 digs and led the Comets from the service line with a pair of aces.
On Saturday, the Comets took a road trip up I-380 to try their hand at Cedar Rapids Jeffersons’ Westside Invitational, where they met some fierce competition that may have helped prepare them for state tournament competition.
The first game was against Cedar Rapids Kennedy, whom the Comets swept in three straight sets. No details were available.
But the Comets followed by finishing the season against three ranked foes including Marion, a seventh ranked team in Class 4A; Dike-New Hartford, the number three ranked team in Class 2A as well as West Delaware, the number eight ranked team in Class 4A.
The Comets matched up against Marion in their second game of the day, starting off strong with a 21-9 victory in the opening set. But Marion would steal the second set, 22-20 and the Indians continued to win a deciding third set, 15-7, and take the 2-1 match victory.
Daufeldt fired 10 kills for West Liberty while Buysse continued to set up the Comets offensive assault with 19 assists to go along with two aces. Martha Pace was a force to be reckoned with at the net, recording a pair of blocks and six kills in the match. Morales, Daufeldt and Rylee Goodale all recorded nine digs apiece in the match.
The Comets followed with a battle against powerhouse Dike-New Hartford, struggling to find their footing against the Wolverines, falling in straight sets, 21-15 and 21-11.
Buysse again lead the assist list with 16 while Daufeldt finished with eight kills, as the pair once again led the Comet offensive charge. Morales recorded nine more digs to add to her days total along with an ace and Martha Pace added a block. Sisters Averi and Rylee Goodale both scored aces for the Comets from the service line.
Saturday’s battles ended with a matchup against West Delaware. The Comets fought resiliently, but ultimately fell to the Hawks 21-17 in the opening set and 21-18 in the final.
Daufeldt fired home 13 kills in the regular season finale for the Comets while also adding a block. Buysse put up 21 assists for West Liberty and Morales recorded 10 digs.
The Comets will head to Wilton for River Valley Conference tournament action Thursday with the game beginning at 5 p.m. against the rival Beavers. The Comets lost in three straight sets to Wilton, the #2 ranked team in Class 2A, on Oct. 1. West Liberty will host Anamosa in their first round of Regional action Monday. A start time for that game had not been announced at press time.