Repeat Title Eludes Cedar Falls
Ankeny Centennial ended Cedar Falls' quest for an undefeated season, beating the Tigers in the Class 5A championship at the Iowa High School Girls State Volleyball Tournament Friday morning (Nov. 9, 2018).
Top-ranked Cedar Falls, the 2017 champion, entered the finale unbeaten and on a 75-match win streak. The Tigers had lost only two sets all season while tallying 46 victories. None of that mattered to Centennial.
The Jaguars came out aggressive and never let up. They swept Cedar Falls and left the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids with their fourth title in five years.
Set scores were 25-18, 25-22, and 25-23.
Centennial (41-3) ended the first set with a 9-2 run. The Jaguars never trailed in the second set after breaking a 7-7 tie. The third set was close the entire way.
For Cedar Falls (46-1), it was a gut-wrenching end to a season filled with plenty of success. They were hoping to become the first unbeaten state champion since 2012, when Dike-New Hartford accomplished the feat.
Two players – both juniors – represented the Tigers on the Class 5A All-Tournament Team. Emerson Green, a UNI basketball recruit, and Akacia Brown were named to the seven-member squad.
Brown led Cedar Falls with 16 kills and Green recorded 31 assists. Kirsten Graves had a match-high 16 digs for the Tigers.