We’re 10 minutes to gametime (matchtime?) for the first of four championships at the state volleyball tournament. Here are the picks:
CLASS 4A: Ankeny (39-1) vs. Johnston (40-1)
Flip a coin. This one’s too close to call. Ankeny probably has been the more impressive team this week. Johnston handed the Hawkettes their only loss of the year. The only surprise would be if this one went quickly. I’ll stay with my pre-tournament hunch.
Ankeny in 5.
CLASS 3A: Marion (45-6) vs. Mount Vernon (39-1)
The top-ranked Mustangs have taken no prisoners in their first two matches. Neither Pella nor Nevada took more than 16 points in a game. Marion might feel it’s a team of destiny after rallying from 0-2 against Sioux City Heelan. I still think it’s Mount Vernon’s year.
Mount Vernon in 4.
Class 2A: Dike-New Hartford (37-4) vs. Western Christian (46-4)
Without a doubt, DNH has the best player in the class — or maybe any class — in Hannah Willms. The Wolverines snapped IKM-Manning’s hopes of an unbeaten season in four-game semifinal win. Western Christian swept its first two matches here. The Wolfpack won’t sweep again, but they’ll probably prevail.
Western Christian in 5.
Class 1A: Ackley AGWSR (37-4) vs. Tripoli (28-11)
If the Panthers win, they will set themselves up for another string of titles. Freshman Megan Gilbert is terrific. She didn’t play in a 2-1 loss to AGWSR in their earlier meeting due to a sore neck. I took AGWSR before the tournament, and I hate to contradict myself. Just a hunch that Gilbert’s presence will be difference.
Tripoli in 5.