Skip to main content

2022 Iowa high school volleyball state tournament preview

Games begin Monday

By Bret Hayworth | Photo by Matthew Putney  

IOWA CITY, Iowa – All the off season workouts, the team practices and meetings, the long Saturdays filled with tournament foes galore and the regional competitions have played out, and now 40 teams are aiming for state championship titles in five classification divisions.

The 2022 state volleyball tournament begins Monday, Oct. 31, and by Thursday the five title teams will be feted on the floor of Xtream Arena in Iowa City. 

While the venue may have shifted after a few decades in Cedar Rapids, the level of competition will again be intense as hitters, blockers, setters, liberos and defensive specialists will give their all in the tournament.

The field includes three programs seeking repeat titles, as Pleasant Valley in Class 5A, Western Dubuque in Class 4A and Dike-New Hartford in Class 2A all won in 2021.

In the case of Dike-New Hartford, the squad is seeking a third consecutive title, which is one of the key storylines of the tourney. The D-NH Wolverines (42-2) are also highly ranked on national lists too, and the season included head coach Diane Harms nabbing her 1,000th career win in September.

Meanwhile, three programs who finished second last year also have a chance to grab titles, as Hull Western Christian in Class 2A, West Liberty in 3A and Springville in 1A are in the field. As for Springville, the 37-3 Orioles are seeded first in Class 1A.

The setup for the tourney includes quarterfinal matches in all five classes on Monday and Tuesday, then the final 20 teams will play in semifinal matches on Wednesday, with the five title matches wrapping things up on Thursday. Here are some key details on each of the 40 teams.


Iowa City Liberty, No. 1 seed, 30-8

 The team won the Mississippi Valley-Mississippi Conference crown. Returning Elite All-Stater Cassidy Hartman leads the Lightning with 469 kills, another returning Class 5A all-stater Shelby Kimm leads the team with 382 digs and setter Asta Hildebrand has 769 assists.

Ankeny, No. 2 seed, 35-4

Ankeny has won 17 matches in a row and won the CIML regular season title. Senior setter Jesa Wallace is among the state leaders with 960 assists, while returning All-Stater junior Aowyn Schrader has 310 kills.

Pleasant Valley, No. 3 seed, 27-6

 Seeking a repeat title, the Spartans won the Mississippi Athletic Conference title and have won 11 matches in a row. Two All-Staters from 2021 returned this year, in senior Chloe Cline and senior Hall Vice, who leads PV in kills with 243.

Dowling Catholic, No. 4 seed, 31-9

 Dowling is one of two teams to defeat Dike-New Hartford, and finished second behind Ankeny in the CIML. Head coach Mary Beth Wiskus got her 400th career win this year, and the team is led in kills by All-Stater Mackenzie Dean with 375 and sophomore Ella Rogers is the setter.

Ankeny Centennial, No. 5 seed, 29-9

 Centennial’s Jaeden Pratt is one of the top sophomore blockers in the state with 87, while another sophomore, Delaney Miller, leads the Jaguars in kills with 250.

Waukee Northwest, No. 6 seed, 28-12

 Another tough team from the CIML, the Wolves are led by junior setter Katey Lockyear who has 712 assists in running the offense, while Brooklyn Halbur leads the squad with 602 digs and 37 service aces.

West Des Moines Valley, No. 7 seed, 21-20

Valley had one of the key upsets in regional play to earn a state berth, after rushing to a win after being down 0-2 to Johnston. Valley is led in kills and blocks by junior Elise Jaeger.

Urbandale, No. 8, 16-19

 Urbandale also had a regional upset with a defeat of Cedar Falls. Elite All-Stater Lily Dykstra, a University of Northern Iowa recruit, is back, with 531 kills and she also hits at .301 efficiency.


Cedar Rapids Xavier, No. 1 seed, 30-4

 Xavier finished second in the rugged Mississippi Valley-Mississippi Conference filled with Class 5A teams. Xavier is led in kills by Libby Fandel with 296, while Brooklyn Miller has 304 digs.

North Scott, No. 2 seed, 32-5

 The Lancers finished third in the Mississippi Athletic Conference. Setter Nora Ralfs leads the team in assists and service aces, and sophomore Abbey Hayes has 336 kills and hits at .309.

Marion, No. 3 seed, 35-6

Returning all-state setter Avery Van Hook has 881 assists for the Wolves, and junior Michaela Goad leads Marion in kills with 389 and blocks with 73.

Indianola, No. 4 seed, 37-6

 The Indians have 14 wins in a row and won the Little Hawkeye Conference. Aspen Nelsen leads Indianola in service aces (65) and kills (348), and Brynn Bishop has pulled up 364 digs.

Western Dubuque, No. 5 seed, 24-10

 Western Dubuque will attempt a repeat championship while seeded fifth. Returning All-Stater Libby Lansing is having another notable year, with 98 blocks, 309 kills and hitting at .473, while Ella Meyer has 648 digs.

Clear Creek-Amana, No. 6 seed, 32-10

 The team won the WaMaC-West title, and the Clippers have been aided by the return of junior All-Stater Bliss Beck, a 6-2 middle hitter with 133 blocks and 355 kills, and Emily Henderson ia a rare freshman setter among the top teams in the state.

Bondurant-Farrar, No. 7 seed, 24-10

 The Bluejays are on a six-match win streak, with key players in setter Rylee Hamilton and Hannah Ditsworth, who has racked up 66 blocks and 347 kills.

Sioux City Bishop Heelan, No. 8 seed, 24-14

 The Crusaders defeated Norwalk to get the state berth, and a key player with a well-rounded game is sophomore Maliyah Hacker, who leads the team in kills with 309 and digs with 262.


Des Moines Christian, No. 1 seed, 45-5

 The 45 wins are the most of any program in the state, and the team has won six in a row. The Lions team is paced by two returning all-staters, with senior Olivia Lombardi having 508 digs and junior Gabby Lombardi with 377 kills.

Davenport Assumption, No. 2 seed, 30-7

 Assumption played a top schedule, as evidenced by a loss to Class 5A Pleasant Valley, a fellow conference opponent. All-Stater senior Ava Schubert has 314 kills, while sophomore Ellie Schubert leads the Knights with 897 assists.

Mount Vernon, No. 3 seed, 34-5

 Mount Vernon won the WaMac-East title and have one of the state’s best sophomores in Chloe Meester, who hits at .435 efficiency and has put down 482 kills. Senior Madeleine Miller has 962 assists.

Sioux Center, No. 4 seed, 30-3

 The Warriors won the Siouxland Conference title, and have a 14-match win streak. The team’s setter is Willow Bleeker, who has 757 assists, while Reagan Jansen has 327 kills.

West Liberty, No. 5 seed, 31-7 

West Liberty dropped the 2021 title match to West Delaware, and is back in 2022. The squad has two returning senior All-Staters in setter Brooklyn Buysee and libero Natalie Morales, plus sophomore Sophie Buysee leads the team with 304 kills.

Orange City Unity Christian, No. 6 seed, 23-9

 The Knights won the War Eagle Conference with a 10-0 record, and have been boosted by the return of All-Stater Gracie Schoonhoven, a 5-11 outside hitter who leads the team in kills and digs.

Osage, No. 7 seed, 29-6

 Osage won the Top of Iowa East Conference and have amassed 12 wins in a row. The Green Devils are led by two seniors in setter Sydney Muller and hitter Claudia Aschenbrenner, who has 322 kills.

Union Community, No. 8 seed, 42-9

 Union has two of the top statistical players in the state among all clasifications, as setter Avery Knoop ranks second in assists with 1,129, while the 570 kills by Aubrey Gates ranks fourth overall.


Dike-New Hartford, No. 1 seed, 42-2

 The Wolverines are seeking a third consecutive title, and have several All-Staters who returned. Elite All-Stater Payton Petersen, who will play at the University of Louisville, is a hitter with 457 kills who hits at .356, while her twin sister, junior Jadyn Petersen, a UNI recruit, has 295 digs and 286 kills. all-stater Madelyn Norton is the setter setting up plays.

Hull Western Christian, No. 2 seed, 40-5

 Like D-NH, the Wolfpack are a storied program, with 39 state appearances and 17 titles. Hull Western lost the 2021 title match to Dike-New Hartford, but are boosted by the return of two senior all-staters, who both are 5-10 hitters. Stella Winterfeld and Abby VerBurg have gone back and forth all year leading the Wolfpack in kills.

Wapsie Valley, No. 3 seed, 40-4

 Wapsie Valley won the North Iowa Cedar-East Conference. Two key seniors pace the Warriors team, with Sydney Matthias leading in assists with 875 and aces with 55, and Hannah Knight hits at .280 efficiency and has 372 kills.

Hinton, No. 4 seed, 26-2

 Hinton has one of the top freshmen statistically among Iowa preps, as Bailey Boeve hits at .461, has 300 kills and more than 100 blocks. The Blackhawks setter is Aslynn Kovarna.

Denver, No. 5 seed, 36-10

 Denver finished second behind Dike-New Hartford in the North Iowa Cedar-Central Conference. The Cyclones are led by freshman setter Channing Johnson, whose 1,177 assists leads the entire state, while the 618 kills by senior Kayla Knowles, a returning All-Stater, are second most among all players.

Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont, No. 6 seed, 30-5

 EBF sophomore sisters Molly and Kate Schafer were All-Staters as freshmen. This year, as the Rockets won the South Central Conference, setter Kate has 808 assists and Molly leads the team with 511 kills and 266 digs.

Sumner-Fredricksburg, No. 7 seed, 31-10

 S-F has the player leading all Iowa preps in kills, with Isabelle Elliott having that honor with 651 kills. Elliott also hits at .460 and leads the Cougars with 60 ace serves.

Carroll Kuemper Catholic, No. 8 seed

 The Knights won the Hawkeye 10 Conference, and freshman Kaylie Simons paces the squad with 500 digs, while Ashlyn Badding has 650 assists and Sophie Badding has 316 kills.


Springville, No. 1 seed, 37-3

 The Orioles dropped the 2021 title match to Burlington-Notre Dame, which didn’t make the 2022 field. Springville is led by All-State setter Nia Howard in assists (877) and aces (51), while Ashlynne Zaruba racked up 397 digs for the squad that won the Tri-Rivers West Conference.

North Tama, No. 2 seed, 39-4

North Tama won the Iowa Star South Conference and has run up 18 straight wins. The Redhawks have senior leaders in returning All-State setter Jadyn Rausch with 851 assists and Shae Ewoldt having 308 kills.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck, No. 3 seed, 32-9

 The Rebels have nine consecutive wins, with senior setter Emma McClintock running the offense, plus a returning all-stater in middle blocker Megan Cooley. Ava Wyatt leads G-R with 409 kills and 244 digs.

Ankeny Christtian, No. 4 seed, 36-3

 The Eagles enter the tourney with 15 consecutive wins. Katie Quick was an all-stater as a freshman, and this year as a sophomore Quick leads the squad in blocks, assists with 736 and ace serves with 108.

Gilbertville Don Bosco, No. 5 seed, 28-12

 The Dons won the Iowa Star-North Conference. Don Bosco setter Josie Hogan sets the offense, with her top option coming in hitter Alexis Even, who produced 289 kills.

Holy Trinity Catholic, No. 6 seed, 29-15

 Holy Trinity made it to state by defeating defending 1A champ Burlington-Notre Dame in the regional contest. Junior Mary Kate Bendlage leads the Crusaders in kills with 369 and digs with 374.

AGWSR No. 7 seed, 18-2

 The Cougars from Ackley-Geneva Wellsburg-Steamboat Rock have sophomore Trevyn Smith at the helm as setter, plus the team is led in kills by senior Brynnn Smith, who has 454.

Riverside, No. 8, 33-5

 Riverside got a state berth after a regional upset win over ranked Le Mars Gehlen Catholic. The Bulldogs are led in assists and ace serves by setter Ayla Richardson, and Madison Baldwin leads Riverside in digs with 346.