Posted On: 08/13/21 2:47 PM

For former athletes, whether you’re five years removed or twenty years removed, some of the top memories for high school athletes are the small moments from those long, entertaining days at team camps.  The early morning van rides, the hot gyms, interesting matchups and lineups, and plenty of random moments that end in laughter.  While plenty of that was going on at the Central College Team Camp, there was also a glimpse into what could be some storylines throughout the 2021 Iowa high school volleyball season. 

West Liberty Reloads

As cliche as this saying is, there is so much truth with “Top programs don’t rebuild, they reload”.  West Liberty graduated Upper Iowa recruit, Martha Pace Martha Pace 5'11" | OH West Liberty | 2021 State IA , who was a major part of their program on the outside, but the Comets will have a young, up and coming outside in Sophie Buysee.  She may be all of 5’7, but she knows how to swing and shows great composure for not even been through a day of high school classes.  She will be attacking off her older sister, Brooklyn Buysse Brooklyn Buysse 5'7" | S West Liberty | 2023 State IA who showed great command of the offense.  With quick feet and the ability to jumpset every chance she gets, she will be able to score points on her own as well.  Monica Morales Monica Morales 5'4" | DS/L West Liberty | 2023 State IA is now the experienced Junior libero where she continues to command the backrow.  Macy Daufeldt Macy Daufeldt 5'10" | OH West Liberty | 2022 State IA was classic Macy Daufeldt Macy Daufeldt 5'10" | OH West Liberty | 2022 State IA .  She knows how to use the block, sees the open spot, and has plenty of highlight worthy kills.  The Comets were one step short of the state tournament in 2020 and will be looking to get back to Cedar Rapids. 

 

Watch Out For West High 

Iowa City West is going to be a sleeper team in Class 5A where they showed plenty of balance at each position.  Katherine Kouba Katherine Kouba 5'6" | DS/L Iowa City West | 2022 State IA is so consistent at the libero position, she is poised with a calm platform and her positive energy is contagious for the rest of her teammates.  I was very impressed with Sophia Deyak, a 6’2 middle blocker who will be a Junior this season.  A major presence defensively, but she also showed she can hit a variety of tempos, scoring points in the deep corner as well as scoring on the slide.  Sydney Woods Sydney Woods 5'7" | OH Iowa City Liberty | 2022 State IA will be a new addition for the Trojans this fall who was previously at Iowa City Liberty.  Much like Kouba, Wood is so steady as a six rotation outside hitter where she is fundamentally sound and efficient all the way around.  

 

Some Top Athletes In The State

What I love about team camps is that everyone kind of blends in, and I mean that in a really positive way.  There’s no ego, there’s not a ton of pressure, its a chance for new players to get plenty of reps, and everyone there is to improve and have fun.  However, walking along the courts in the Kuyper Fieldhouse, there were some of the top athletes in the state.  Lauren Carter Lauren Carter 5'11" | S Winterset | 2022 State IA was with her Winterset High School team where only weeks ago she was training with the 18U USA National Team.  This weekend she set (where she has committed to set at Denver), but she was also playing on the right side.  Her presence on the court is so much more than just distributing a ball to an attacker. Faith DeRonde Faith DeRonde 5'10" | OH Oskaloosa | 2022 State IA of Oskaloosa is one of the top outside hitters in the state, but aside from volleyball she was a state champion in the discus for Class 3A, and was the pitcher for the Oskaloosa softball team who qualified for the state tournament.  Macy Daufeldt Macy Daufeldt 5'10" | OH West Liberty | 2022 State IA of West Liberty also has a state title from track in the long jump for 2019

What Teams Are In The Hunt This Fall? 

West Liberty took home the title and have plenty of momentum heading into the season.  Their matchup against Wilton during conference play will be absolute fireworks.  Iowa City West as I previously mentioned is going to be battle tested throughout the year with their conference schedule.  What will be key for them is where they get sent for their regional.  South Hardin made it to the gold bracket and has plenty of returners coming back from a 2020 state tournament team. I think Southern/South Central Iowa will have an interesting look when it comes to regional play.  Bondurant-Farrar, led by outside hitter Kendall Anderson Kendall Anderson 5'7" | OH Bondurant-Farrar | 2022 State IA looked impressive scoring plenty of points.  There is also Oskaloosa, Winterset, and Knoxville who battled it out in the Silver Bracket where they all have the potential to beat some solid teams along the way.