Opening-night sweep for Saints


By KCRG Sports

CEDAR RAPIDS — Kayla Torson has a new coach and a new setter.

She also has the same old powerful swing.

Torson slammed 17 kills, and Class 4A ninth-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier swept past Linn-Mar, 25-18, 25-19, 25-18, in an MVC Valley Division volleyball match Tuesday night at Ron Thillen Gymnasium.

“Everything was clicking together,” said setter Britni Scholtes, who distributed 40 assists. “We have a lot of hitters, a lot of options for girls that can put the ball away.”

At the forefront was Torson, a returning all-stater from a team that reached the state tournament last year. The 5-foot-10 junior outside hitter was consistent throughout, collecting six kills in each of the first two sets, then five in the closer.

The match featured two of the four new Metro coaches. A Cedar Rapids native (she graduated from Jefferson High School in 1998), Krista Johnson moved back home after serving as an assistant at Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D., for the last two seasons.

“It was a tough two years being away from my family, but I learned a lot,” she said.

Torson said, “I love Coach Johnson, she’s awesome. She’s confident and she knows her stuff.”

Meanwhile, Hall of Famer Teresa Kehe takes over at Linn-Mar after seven years at Loras College. She won six state championships at Tripoli High School.

“It’s going to take work, and it’s going to take time,” Kehe said about building the program. “One of the things we’re working on is raising the expectation level. We want to be competitive, tenacious and aggressive.”

In each of the three games, Xavier (1-0 overall, 1-0 division) used a decisive run around the midpoint to gain separation.

The Saints scored six straight points in the first set to break a 14-all tie. In Game 2, Torson smacked three straight kills to ignite a 9-1 run for a 14-10 advantage.

And in the finale, Torson posted a kill and two aces, then Madsy Richards followed with a block and two kills in a six-point run that made it 21-14.

At match point, Torson drilled a kill off a dig attempt that nearly sailed into the balcony on the south end of the gym.

It’s only the first step. But Johnson sees this as a team with a high ceiling.

“If we continue to work hard, there’s no limit on what we can do,” she said.

Richards added 12 kills for the Saints. Xavier converted 71 of 74 serve attempts with eight aces.

Aryn Jones led Linn-Mar (0-1, 0-1) with six kills.

Conversation Guidelines

Be Kind

Don't use abusive, offensive, threatening, racist, vulgar or sexually-oriented language.
Don't attack someone personally. Keep it civil and be responsible.

Share Knowledge

Be truthful. Share what you know and what you are passionate about.
What more do you want to learn? Keep it simple.

Stay focused

Promote lively and healthy debate. Stay on topic. Ask questions and give feedback on the story's topic.

Report Trouble

Help us maintain a quality comment section by reporting comments that are offensive. If you see a comment that is offensive, or you feel violates our guidelines, simply click on the "x" to the far right of the comment to report it.

read the full guidelines here »

Commenting will be disabled on stories dealing with the following subject matter: Crime, sexual abuse, property fires, automobile accidents, Amber Alerts, Operation Quickfinds and suicides.

Most Popular

facebook twitter rss mobile google plus
email alerts you tube hooplanow pinterest instagram

What's On KCRG