Jefferson, Marion Win In Volleyball Playoffs

By Jeff Linder and Jeremiah Davis, Reporters

IOWA CITY — Mary Kay Van Oort is a positive person. An optimist.

But she's also a realist.

"I just wanted these girls to have a decent season," she said. "I wanted them to win a few matches, maybe finish close to .500."

She admitted, she never envisioned this. She didn't envision her team, engulfed by a student body that stormed the court after a huge win.

Then again, who did?

Amanda Ollinger slammed 44 kills as Cedar Rapids Jefferson rallied to shock Iowa City West in five sets (25-23, 16-25, 19-25, 27-25, 15-13) in a Class 5A regional semifinal volleyball match Thursday night at West High School.

"Unbelievable," Ollinger said, using a word that would have accurately reflected the feelings of just about everybody in the West gym. "Last year, we could barely win a game, let alone a match.

"Mary Kay changed the whole program. This is an amazing feeling."

Meanwhile, in Marion, the Indians are just one step away.

After a convincing – yet at times inconsistent – 3-0 (25-17, 25-28, 25-12) sweep of Davenport North, the Class 4A No. 10 Marion volleyball team sits just one win away from a state tournament berth.

Though the Indians didn't drop a set, set scores weren't indicative of just how hard the Wildcats made it for Marion in the first two stanzas.

"The biggest thing for us was just staying relaxed," said junior libero Abby Phillips. "We just had to calm down a bit and get in our rhythm.

"It's hard on the confidence at first. Sometimes it helps ... to feed off each other for confidence."

Xavier also advanced on Thursday night, topping DeWitt Central.
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