Holy trinity

Holy Trinity outlasts Janesville in straight-set state volleyball quarterfinal

Crusaders classified fifth advance to the semi-finals of class 1A

Holy Trinity’s Reagan Holvoett (14) and Brooke Mueller (23) block a shot during the State 1A Tournament Quarterfinals against Janesville on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 at Alliant Energy PowerHouse in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Geoff Stellfox / The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS – It has certainly not been easy.

There were ups and downs, but in the end, Fort Madison Holy Trinity’s No.5 found his way into the Class 1A State Volleyball semifinals.

Coach Melissa Freesmeier’s team found a way, battling for a 23-25, 25-21, 25-22, 20-25, 15-8 win over No.10 Janesville on Tuesday night at Alliant Energy PowerHouse.

The Crusaders (33-10) will face the best Burlington Notre Dame in the semifinals Wednesday at 6 p.m. Janesville, in the state tournament for the 12th consecutive year, finishes at 25-16.

The two teams have met previously in the state, and Freesmeier said Tuesday night’s battle was nothing new.

“Janesville was our archenemy for a long time,” she said. “We knew the two teams would fight hard. I really didn’t want to go to five, but that beat the alternative.

“It was just a great game between the two teams.”

” Photo gallery: Fort Madison Holy Trinity vs. Janesville in State Volleyball Tournament

Freesmeier was concerned about how senior passer Kassi Randolph would play. She spent all the time there was no action with an ice pack on the back of her neck.

Randolph responded with a glorious night, recording 13 assists and registering 21 assists.

Neither team ever picked up the pace in the two-hour game, but a key turning point came in game five.

“I think it was Brooke Mueller’s bouldering that made a difference,” Freesmeier said. “She went up and took it down and I think the energy built up from there.”

Mueller also contributed 13 wins. Natalie Randolph finished with 11 kills. In defense, Anna Sobczak was a force with 31 digs.

For Janesville, Pyper McCarville led the way with 24 kills and 25 digs. Kendall Thompson contributed with 14 kills.