Golden Hawk volleyball rules the week

By TJ Rhodes
Posted 9/13/23

Mid-Prairie volleyball has certainly changed their tides. After a close loss to West Branch, the Golden Hawks broke a 14-year streak by beating the West Liberty Comets 3-1.

There’s the …

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Golden Hawk volleyball rules the week


Mid-Prairie volleyball has certainly changed their tides. After a close loss to West Branch, the Golden Hawks broke a 14-year streak by beating the West Liberty Comets 3-1.

There’s the boom.

The Golden Hawks followed by winning four matches at the Live Like Line Volleyball Tournament at Iowa City West, knocking out Ankeny, Iowa City West, Regina Catholic and Cedar Rapids Prairie.

There’s the aftershock.

LLL Tourney: Mid-Prairie 2, Ankeny 1, 9/9

The Mid-Prairie Golden Hawks started the Live Like Line Volleyball Tournament pinned against No. 3 ranked Ankeny (11-6) in 5A competition. In three sets, the Golden Hawks won 2-1 with scores of 26-24 (M-P), 21-10 (Ankeny) and 15-12 (M-P).

Mid-Prairie started set one right where they left off: on fire.

It began with two great plays by sophomore Jovi Evans, spiking the ball for the opening kill and then serving the ball perfectly on the boundary line for the service ace and the early 2-0 lead.

After this, almost every rally was a battle.

Mid-Prairie got a 6-2 lead after Ankeny players collided, resulting in the ball falling to the floor with the fallen Hawk blocking the path to the ball.

The next play saw Ankeny failing to get the ball over the net. They were reeling.

After an Ankeny timeout, Mid-Prairie sophomore Harper Pacha started things back up with a forceful spike at center court, too hot to handle.

Later during a wild rally, both Pacha and junior Dakota Mitchell dove to save a point from the already celebrating Ankeny players. After the teams traded a few more times, a Mid-Prairie block finished the rally to give the Golden Hawks a 9-3 lead. 

The teams began to trade blows, leading to a Mid-Prairie 17-10 and eventual 20-14 lead. They needed just one more point for the set win.

Ankeny refused.

Ankeny pulled together a 6-0 run, tying it at 20. Then, the Golden Hawks took the lead. No, Ankeny took the lead.

The two teams swapped five lead changes before Mid-Prairie finally snatched the necessary two-point lead to win set one at 26-24.

Set two was completely controlled by Ankeny, winning 21-10. The Golden Hawks did hold early 3-2 and 6-4 leads, but Ankeny went on a deep run, outscoring Mid-Prairie 17-4 to close out the set.

Ankeny used momentum from set one for their set two runaway win. The Ankeny Hawks started to find holes within the Golden Hawk defense.

Set three began 5-5. Mid-Prairie would break the tie with a wild rally. Both Mitchell and sophomore Avery Helmuth collided with Helmuth finding a way to get under the ball anyway.

Ankeny blocked Helmuth’s tip yet the block rolled on top of the net before dying on Ankeny’s side of the net for the Mid-Prairie point.

The teams would then continue to trade blows. After 8-8, Mid-Prairie built a three-point lead, highlighted by a heavy spike from junior Callie Huber, finding the middle of the Ankeny defense for the kill.

Mid-Prairie won 15-12 after Pacha laid out two heavy spikes, one returned and the second steaming down for the easy kill, ending the match.

Mid-Prairie 2, Regina 1, 9/9

Regina Catholic (11-6) has constantly been a thorn in the side of Mid-Prairie athletics in recent memory. Regina holds the 22-6 all-time record over Mid-Prairie. Despite this, Mid-Prairie owns the last four matchups.

This match was no different. The Golden Hawks won 2-1 over Regina with scores of 21-15 (M-P), 21-10 (Regina) and 15-12 (M-P).

Mid-Prairie’s Huber led in kills here with three. Evans again placed first with assists at 15 and Safly had one block to boot.

Mid-Prairie 2, Iowa City West 0, 9/9

Mid-Prairie won both sets against Iowa City West (4-11) with scores of 21-14 and 21-15.

Evans would lead the team in assists with 12, kills with 4.5 and serve aces with 1.5. Senior Paige Safly managed one block to lead the team. Mitchell’s 11 digs were a team lead in the match.

Beating Ankeny, Regina and Iowa City West meant that Mid-Prairie swept their pool to move on in the grander scheme of the tournament.

Mid-Prairie 2, Cedar Rapids Prairie 0, 9/9

In the next bracket of play, the Hawks were slated against Cedar Rapids Prairie (4-7). In two tightly contested sets, Mid-Prairie won 25-22 and 25-19 without needing a third set. The Hawks were on a roll.

Evans again led in assists with 15 whereas Pacha led in kills with five. Safly earned another three blocks in this round.

Because of this win, the Hawks had two more wins ahead of them for a chance at first place.

Mid-Prairie 1, Dowling Catholic 2, 9/9

Mid-Prairie’s reward for beating Prairie was a chance at number one ranked Dowling Catholic (15-3) at 5A competition. Winning this meant a chance for first place.

Mid-Prairie showed they can compete with the very best the state of Iowa has to offer, losing in three sets with scores of 25-18 (Dowling), 25-23 (M-P) and 15-12 (Dowling).

Undefeated Clear Creek Amana (20-0) would topple Dowling for the first-place finish in three sets. That was the only set CCA lost throughout the entire tournament.

Going 4-1 at the Live Like Line tournament gave the Hawks a revived 12-3 record heading into a fresh week of volleyball. The dominating week of volleyball from the Hawks should serve as motivation for the coming weeks of competition.

The next two Hawk matchups take place on Thursday, Sept. 14 against Wilton for Hawk senior night.  Their next game will be Tuesday, Sept. 19 against Durant. Both matchups are home games at 7:15 p.m. for the Hawks.

Golden Hawks, Mid-Prairie, Volleyball, Iowa, Live Like Line Tournament


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