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Central serves up win over West volleyball
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Central serves up win over West volleyball

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The Davenport Central girls volleyball team brought its ‘ace’ game against Davenport West on Thursday night.

Led by Lilly Campbell and Morgan Barker, the Blue Devils racked up 18 aces as a team to roll past the Falcons, 25-3, 25-12, 25-12, in the Mississippi Athletic Conference finale for both teams at George Marshall Gym.

The two squads will meet again days from now back at George Marshall Gym in a Class 5A playoff opener on Tuesday.

But for now, the Blue Devils got to savor a victory on Senior Night as the hosts honored Barker and Campbell along with classmates Emma Dirksen, Lyndsey Volquardsen and Noelle Smith. The victory also helped Central finish in fifth place by itself in the MAC with a 5-4 conference mark.

“It was nice to get a win on Senior Night because I think it has been a while since we got one,” Campbell said. “It’s going to be weird playing (West) in back-to-back matches but I think we played really well tonight.”

The Blue Devils (10-13 overall) did not waste any time jumping on the Falcons (2-25, 1-8) to the tune of 9-1 in the opening set. Volquardsen led the way serving for the winners with a pair of aces and Delaney Graves put down four kills early on.

Barker took it from there with all four of her aces coming during a 9-1 run to push the lead to 18-2. Kate Ebeling and Smith contributed numerous kills at the net for the Blue Devils in the dominant opening set. Ebeling led Central with 13 kills for the match.

“That first set was really fun to play in and be a part of, that’s for sure,” Campbell said.

West found its footing a little bit early in the second set behind some nice kills from Halee Clare, Sydney Westerhof and Macie Stineman. The Falcons only trailed 10-6 at one point.

But then it was Campbell’s turn behind the service line. Three aces later and five overall points, the Blue Devils were back in control at 15-6.

“Serving has been a big deal for us,” Campbell said. “We just have to practice a lot because we have been (bad) at it and we try not to be. But serve-receive was big tonight.”

Campbell tacked on three more aces in the final set and Ebeling added seven more kills to help Central finish the sweep. Graves finished with eight kills while Smith finished with six kills.

Barker chipped in eight digs while Smith had seven digs. Graves had a pair of blocks.

Aces were not the only key stat for Campbell as she finished with 27 assists to put her at 325 for the season.

Central coach Laura Guttmann said going over 300 assists for the season was impressive feat for a player who is not naturally a setter. Campbell plays outside hitter for her Iowa Select team.

In addition, Campbell is one of the top BMX bike riders in the area.

“She is just an incredible athlete,” Guttmann said. “The fact that she can be so flexible and make such great connections with our hitters and is not trained as a setter is very impressive.”

For West, Clare had three kills while Westerhof had a pair of kills. Mackenzie Harland and Grace Krogman each had four assists for the Falcons. Sarah Bernick had eight digs while Isabel Sinksen had two aces for West.


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