The West Liberty High School volleyball team kept their winning streak alive following a sweep over Tipton to start conference play before sweeping their way through their second tournament in a row Saturday in Muscatine. The Comets sit at 11-0 overall having not dropped a set through their first 11 contests.
Coach Ruben Galvan credits the leadership of his upperclassmen for the team's early success. "We knew we had the potential to put together a good team knowing that we had some of the key positions returning with experience. The upper classmen have done a really great job welcoming the new players to the team. That’s the number one reason we are able to put together a great team."
The coach said the team chemistry is really good. "They are focusing on improving their game every time they step on the court."
The coach said he wasn't sure what to expect from his Comets this year after losing several key players a year ago, but pointed out, "It hasn’t been surprising that they were able to win these last two tournaments! The girls are working hard and their team chemistry plays a key role in these wins."
The Comets started their week hosting Tipton to begin River Valley Conference play. The Comets poured it on early against the visiting Tigers, jumping ahead 10-4 before forcing a Tipton timeout.
The set proceeded as planned for the Comets, giving up just nine points to take the first set victory, 25-9. The second set followed a similar script as the Comets ran away 25-10 victors.
Jumping ahead 8-3 in the third set, it was all gas for the Comets cruising to a final set victory 25-13.
A steady diet of offense proved vital to the Comets by way of Macy Daufeldt. The Comet senior notched 21 kills in the outing, accompanied by connecting on all eight from the service line and recording a pair of blocks.
Junior setter Brooklyn Buysse added 36 assists to her season totals. Monica Morales continued to be a menace on the defensive side of the ball as the junior recorded 21 digs in the outing, accompanied by a perfect 14/14 from the service line that included two aces.
The Comets moved past their opening week RVC matchup onto Saturday where they would spend the day at Muscatine High school, looking for a second title in eight days for coach Ruben Galvan.
First in the Saturday slate was a matchup against Durant. The Wildcats battled the Comets in the first set before ultimately falling 25-13 in the opener. The Comets faced little resistance in the second set, running away 21-5 victors.
Freshman Sophie Buysse led the Comets from the service line, going 12 of 13 with four aces. She added to her totals with seven digs and four kills in their opening round matchup. Macy Daufeldt recorded 10 kills, six digs and went 5/7 on serves. Brooklyn Buysse claimed 18 assists and Monica Morales 11 digs.
The Comet's second round matchup went much the same as the first, allowing just 14 points over two sets to emerge 21-2, 21-12 victors over Burlington.
Three Comets achieved perfection from the service line against the Bulldogs as Monica Morales went 20/20 with two aces, Sophie Buysse 6/6 and McKenzie Akers 7/7 with an ace.
Morales and Akers both recorded nine digs in the defensive side while Daufeldt landed 13 kills and five blocks in the dominant victory over Burlington while Brooklyn Buysse contributed 17 assists.
The final game of pool play saw the Comets match up against Williamsburg. The Raiders put up the most resistance of any team up to that point, pushing the Comets to the limit in set one before falling 21-19.
The Comets regained control in the second set and cruised to a 21-13 victory.
The coach said Williamsburg's match was easily the toughest of the tournament. "They are focusing on improving their game every time they step on the court," he said of his Comets.
Daufeldt recorded nine kills in the matchup, along with going 5/5 on serves with an ace. The senior also added 11 digs. Brooklyn Buysse notched 17 assists along with going 6/6 on serves with two aces. Morales recorded 12 digs and went 10/11 with a pair of aces from the service line.
Getting into the Semi-Finals, the Comets matched up against New London. The Comets smothered the Tiger offense thanks to blocks by Mylie Henderson and Macy Daufeldt and 15 assists from Morales.
The Comets cruised to 21-7 and 21-8 victories in their semifinal. Rylie Goodale was perfect from the service line, committing no errors and going 7/7 while Sophie Buysse went 12/13 on serves recorded 10 digs and six kills. Brooklyn added 23 assists, the most of which being put away by Daufeldt, who recorded 13 kills.
The Comets matched up against the host Muscatine Muskies in the final, having just navigated past Williamsburg to move to 7-1 overall on the season. The Comets navigated past the Muskies in the opening set 21-11 before history repeated itself in the second set.
Sophie Buysse went 12/12 from the service line with an ace in the championship matchup. She also recorded nine digs and two kills. Sister Brooklyn also was perfect serving, going 3/3 and recording 20 assists, putting her over the 1,000 assist mark for her career. Morales recorded 13 digs and Daufeldt added 17 kills.
The coach said he was happy for Buysse, but noted everyone on the team "had their moments" in the tourney.
The Comets, 11-0 overall and 1-0 in RVC play, head to Mid-Prairie Thursday at 7:15 p.m. to continue their pursuit of a conference title before heading to Williamsburg Saturday in another tournament.
Galvan said his team must be ready for host Williamsburg, "Since we already played them once we already know their capabilities," the coach said, noting another top-tier team in the tourney will be Des Moines Christian, a team that took the Comets to three games last year in the same tourney.
The first serve is 9 a.m. Saturday.