CEDAR RAPIDS — Macy Daufeldt wouldn't let the fourth-ranked West Liberty volleyball team be denied a spot in the Class 3A state semifinals Tuesday.
The senior, headed for Drake, erupted for 33 kills in West Liberty's 28-26, 26-24, 25-21 win over fifth-ranked Mount Vernon at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse.
"It's super exciting (to be at state)," Daufeldt said. "I wish I could say I'd love to come back, but this is my final year, so I'm just trying to make the most of it."
Daufeldt's total was a 3A state record, surpassing the 32 by MOC-Floyd Valley's Alexis Conway in 2012.
Mount Vernon registered more kills than West Liberty in the first set (17-16), but the Comets answered by doubling up the Mustangs in each of the last two sets, 18-9 in the second, and 16-8 in the final.
Daufeldt had 70 attacks in the match.
"We never panicked throughout the match," West Liberty head coach Ruben Galvan said. "We just play our game and support each other.
"We put a lot of pressure on Macy, we get her the ball a lot. And she wants it. The kids believe in her. ... She belongs (on this stage)."
West Liberty (38-4) gets top-ranked Davenport Assumption, which rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat Des Moines Christian, in the semifinals at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
The Comets finished with 50 kills, with junior setter Brooklyn Buysse finishing with 38 assists.
Galvan's team faced deficits in each of the final two sets as Mount Vernon (34-13) held an 8-2 lead to start the middle frame and a 13-6 advantage in the third.
"The entire time, (coach Galvan) was reminding us that the game wasn't over," Brooklyn Buysse said. "He told us we can come back, and we did each set. Even if we didn't, we felt like we could go five sets. There was never a point we didn't think the game was ours. We just knew we had to keep calm and keep playing."
In the third, West Liberty freshman Sophie Buysse showed the poise of an upperclassmen, going for two ace serves over the final few Comet points before classmate Maelyn Wainwright set up match point with the final of her four kills making it 24-21.
Ava Morrison, also a West Liberty freshman, added five kills.
"They handle a lot of pressure," Daufeldt said. "They're young, everyone's a little nervous, opponents are going to try and pick on them because they're new to this. But they handled it better than I ever thought they would. They take the pressure and turn it into fire."
The younger Buysse sister's first ace tied the set at 20 and forced a Mount Vernon timeout. The second came after a Daufeldt kill and put the Comets on top 22-20.
"I was really nervous (at the beginning of the match)," Sophie Buysse said. "But, finally, by the end, I was like 'You need to start believing in yourself.'"
West Liberty's senior star would go for two more kills, the final one adding an exclamation point on the win.
"Macy's an exceptional player, and not only on the court, but off, she's such a leader," Brooklyn Buysse said. "She's always positive. And humble. You wouldn't expect somebody that good to be that humble."
Chloe Meester led the Mustangs with 14 kills while Madeleine Miller went for 25 assists and Kameron Brand finished with a match-best 18 digs.
"We did a great job (defensively), we hustled for every ball," said West Liberty Monica Morales, who led the team with 16 digs. "We had great touches on the blocks, and just tried to handle as best we could."