Posted On: 03/18/19 5:10 PM

The top players in the state all come together from the Missouri River all the way to the Mississippi (reminds of RAGBRAIi, yes I do think of riding RAGBRAI in March 🙂 ). Athletes who wear the same jersey in the fall, just might be on opposite sides of the net.  I had to laugh when Cedar Falls High School teammates Alayna Yates who plays for Six Pack got a ball from another court from Kacia Brown, her fellow high school teammate who plays for Eastern Iowa Xtreme.  They both smile and have a moment where they forget they are on opposite sides. The Iowa Regional tournament held at Drake University this past weekend was a reunion of the best of the best, here are five takeaways from the Iowa Regionals.

Eastern Iowa Edges Central Iowa

With club volleyball congregating mostly around the metro areas there will always be a battle among the Eastern Iowa clubs and Central Iowa clubs.  All are extremely strong and that’s why you usually see a metro school out of Central Iowa taking on a high school from the Eastern side of the state.  Six Pack out of Cedar Falls took home titles in the 16s and 17s while Adrenaline out of Cedar Rapids took the 18s title. Central Iowa Select (CIS) had a strong weekend with their 16s finishing second to Six Pack and their 17s taking a set off of Six Pack in the semifinals, and taking third overall defeating IPVA out of Central Iowa as well.  

Final Results

16s – 1st – Six Pack (National Bid) 2nd – CIS (American Bid) 3rd – Iowa Select 16 Mizuno 4th – Iowa Rockets 16R

17s – 1st – Six Pack (National Bid) 2nd – Eastern Iowa Xtreme (American Bid) 3rd – CIS 4th – IPVA

18s – 1st – Adrenaline (National Bid)  2nd – CIA (American Bid) 3rd – Flight 4th – EIX

*Teams still have a chance to qualify for the national tournament at other qualifiers this season.

Versatility

Some of the rosters were not always full, ‘tis the season of spring break and nagging injuries.  With some teams missing players, it always provides for some interesting lineups and that’s when the all around players really come in handy.  For CIA 16 Black, they only had one middle blocker which forced Taylor Grinley to set and block out of the middle blocker where setters are usually in right front.  This means Grinley is blocking from pin to pin and transitioning to set in some really odd situations, but she made the most out of it. It does help having pin hitters Saari Kuehl and Meredith Street (plays up from the Class of 2022) blasting away, but that’s not an easy task to do over the course of a weekend.  Rylie Olsen of Six Pack 18-1, an All-State setter for Osage and a Grand View commit was playing some DS, right side, and in their Gold Bracket match versus Flight she was playing middle. This just shows her high volleyball IQ, ability to adjust, and be able to step in playing for whatever her team needs. She not only filled the position, but had some kills and blocks in key moments throughout the match.

So Many New Names

A lot of players I had heard about, read about, but to see those athletes play live and find more athletes that are hidden gems was so exciting.  Alysen Dexter of Ohana was blasting away on the pin in the 16s division. Iowa Select 16 Mizuno has an exciting team with the Emma and Ava Schubert (2023), middle Johnaizjha Angel, and libero Caidince Cleveland.  There was also two athletes from complete opposite sides of the state with Corrine Meier with a big arm for DBQ Sting and then from Council Bluffs there is Elaina Bohnet, a dynamic outside who plays for SWI Third Degree 17 Black. Oh and then there is Ashlynn Kuhn of Six Pack 16-1 – take cover, what an exciting player out of the middle. There will be more articles later this week with new names to know from the Iowa Regionals.

Power Vs. Power

Watching Six Pack 17-1 take on EIX 17s was quite a battle, these athletes are going to be playing some big time college volleyball in the next couple of years and most of them knowing each other pretty well from their club and high school ball.  There was a huge Mississippi Valley Conference flavor to this match up with Alayna Yates and Kirsten Graves of Six Pack vs. high school teammate Kacia Brown of EIX. Other MVC athletes from Six Pack are Jada Wills from Dubuque Hempstead and from EIX are Aliyah Carter from Dubuque Wahlert, Emily Strauss of Linn-Mar, along with Rylee Fay and LeeAnn Potter of Iowa City West. While this set went to three, it was a back and forth, ten round fight with multiple trades in momentum.  Right side blocker for Six Pack Sara Klunder had one job, block Carter and even in the one rotation towards the end of the third set they would double sub to put Iowa recruit, Lauren Schrock to block Carter. Another Iowa recruit, Sydney Dennis of EIX from the Class of 2021 was so solid at libero making serve receive and hard driven swings look relatively easy to pass. In the end Six Pack was just too much. EIX will be competing in the open division this upcoming weekend at the Mideast Qualifier in Indianapolis (which Prep Dig will be attending).  The margin of error in this match was so small with both being so evenly matched. Here are some of the committed athletes in this match, with more who will be making their college decisions within the next year I’m sure.

Six Pack – Alayna Yates (Dayton) and Lauren Schrock (Iowa)

EIX – Aliyah Carter (Kansas State), Kacia Brown (Mississippi State), Rylee Fay (Missouri State), Sydney Dennis (Iowa), Justyus Jackson (Tulsa), and Delaney Rice (St. Louis)

Prep Dig will be coming out with more articles this week recapping new names and top performers from the weekend! 

Updates From Prep Dig

Throughout this club season we have been keeping close tabs on Iowa and will be doing a rankings update in April.  We value athletes who have earned honors for their high school teams, club performances, and will be checking with club and college coaches as well which we have done in our other Prep Dig states.

Prep Dig will also be hosting a tournament that will be a perfect pre-national or season ending tournament in Madison, Wisconsin June 1 and 2.  We know teams will be gearing up to go to Indianapolis, Florida, Navy Pier in Chicago, or a great way to end an extended season. We have clubs so far signed up from Wisconsin with FC Elite, MVP out of Milwaukee, and V-Hawk out of La Crosse to name a few, Chicago Elite, MN North, and Nebraska Juniors.  All content at a Prep Dig Event will be free and will be a great way to give clubs and athletes exposure heading into the national tournament.