CEDAR RAPIDS — Macy Daufeldt’s Class 3A state tournament kill record stood for about 24 hours before she broke it again to set the standard even higher.
Daufeldt ended with 37 kills on 93 attempts to set a new 3A record, propelling the fourth-ranked West Liberty Comets into the state finals by beating top seed Davenport Assumption in five sets (25-23, 23-25, 19-25, 25-23, 16-14) at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday.
In Tuesday's win over Mount Vernon in the semifinals, the Drake University commit had 33 to set the record.
“It feels really good,” Daufeldt said. “I don’t think I’ve ever cried on the court before, especially happy tears. But I did that today. And to have all my teammates there, it was an amazing feeling.
“(Assumption) has always had it out for us … It’s nice to come out on top and show them what we had. This proved that we have a lot of heart and that we weren’t ready to be done.”
West Liberty (39-4) plays second-seeded West Delaware at 2:30 p.m. Thursday for the 3A state title.
The Lady Knights (35-5) denied the Comets a trip to the state tournament a season ago, beating West Liberty in the regional finals.
As a team on Wednesday, West Liberty had 163 kill attempts, 93 of which went Daufeldt’s way.
Sophie Buysse registered double figures in kills for the Comets with 10 while freshman classmate Mylei Henderson had five.
“I’m so excited,” Buysse said. “Our team is excited to hopefully get the school’s first state volleyball title … We were really nervous the first day, but today we showed up and were like ‘We’re here, let’s just play and have fun.’
“I didn’t mind having the ball (serving). I just had to believe in myself.”
Daufeldt and junior setter Brooklyn Buysse shared the team lead in digs with 17 apiece, while libero Monica Morales accumulated 13.
“It was a team effort,” West Liberty coach Ruben Galvan said. “Everybody in the gym knows that we’re going to go with Macy, so when there’s an opening and some of our other kids can take advantage, that really helps us.”
Assumption countered throughout the contest with a steady diet of Ava Schubert and Maggie Johnson. The two combined for 87 kill attempts, converting 37. Ava Harris-Shepard (14) and Anna Strajack (10) also finished with double-figure kills.
West Liberty’s biggest lead of the match came when it opened up an 8-6 advantage to start the second. The Comets also held leads was five-point leads on two occasions in the second, a set Assumption won. The biggest lead of the match for the Lady Knights was six, which went toward a 25-19 third set victory.
“We talked about how we couldn’t let (Assumption) go on runs,” Sophie Buysse said, “and step up, be strong, not be scared and just hit away. And our defense played really well, too.”
West Liberty junior setter Brooklyn Buysse dished out 47 assists, while Assumption’s Carly Rolf amassed 61, which also set a new state tournament record in 3A.
Sophie Buysse started the contest with an ace, the first of four for the freshman.
“(Sophie) really came through at the service line,” said Galvan. “She struggled a little early on, but she figured it out and competed very well … (And) Macy's a great influence on those (underclassmen). When I’m talking to the kids, she’ll look at me and say ‘I got 'em, coach.’ It’s great that she’s a great teammate and believes in them. (Macy’s) such a humble kid. It’s great to see the kind of success she’s had and still be level-headed.”
After beating her own individual kills record, Daufeldt, the two-time all-state hitter is only concerned about team accomplishments now.
“(Our freshmen) walked in and had confidence today,” said Daufeldt. “Yesterday, they were a little shaky coming into this atmosphere. But today, they walked in with confidence and showed what they had.