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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 19, 2014

SEISC tournament brings together 20 teams to play

By ALLYUS FRITZ/Ledger sports editor | Sep 26, 2013
Photo by: ALLYUS FRITZ/Ledger photo The Cardinal volleyball team in August.

Can anyone beat Holy Trinity?

That’s the main question as the Southeast Iowa Superconference tournament begins tonight. Holy Trinity is 21-1 on the season, with its only loss coming against West Des Moines Dowling Catholic. The Crusaders lost their only two sets of the season during that match.

Mikaela Foecke, who already committed to the University of Nebraska and played on the U.S. Girls’ Youth National Volleyball Team, is a 6-foot-4-inch junior who no one in this conference has stopped. She already has 286 kills, which is second in the state. Foecke is flanked by 6-foot tall senior Cayla Pieper and sophomore Madlyn Orton, who already has more than 100 kills on the season. The Crusaders truly are the gold standard of the SEISC.

The conference’s 20 teams have been split up into four pools of five teams. Each pool is playing in a different location, and each of the five teams plays each other once. The top two teams after tonight’s games in each pool advance to the second round, which will start at 5 p.m. Saturday, at Southeastern College in West Burlington.

Here is a breakdown of Pekin, Van Buren, Cardinal, and Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment, as they prepare to compete in the tournament:

 

Pekin

Pool play location: Maharishi

Pool breakdown: The Panthers will play West Burlington, WACO and MSAE, before finishing the night off against Holy Trinity. Pekin lost to West Burlington earlier this season in a game it should have closed out.

“West Burlington is a scrappy team and will hustle for everything,” Pekin coach Ashley Bartels said. “When we played West Burlington early in the season, we started off really strong and beat them 21-13 in the first set. We set on the cruise button and did not play at the high level we did to start the match.”

Team strengths: Passing, hitting and blocking have all been strong attributes of the Panthers this season. Bartels has a deep bench at her disposal, which helps to keep her players fresh.

Team weakness: “We play down to our competition,” Bartels said. “We have to remember to keep a high level of play no matter who we are playing.”

Outlook: Sophomore middle blocker Beth Atwood will have her work cut out for her trying to block Foecke, however a second place finish and a spot in the second round is a definite possibility for the Panthers.

 

MSAE

Pool play location: Maharishi

Pool breakdown: The Pioneers are in the same pool as Pekin. MSAE has lost to WACO, West Burlington and Holy Trinity this season. The Pioneers’ second game tonight will be against Pekin.

Team Strengths: MSAE has a varsity squad full of older members and it no longer has to rely on underclassmen.

Team Weaknesses: That varsity squad has been dealing with a team illness and coach Danielle Wallace is hoping that all of her players are ready to play. Wallace also thinks that her team needs to work on communication.

“I’m hoping that they start talking a little more,” Wallace said. “The quieter players need to step up and start talking during games.”

Outlook: All hands will need to be on deck if the Pioneers hope to advance in the tournament. MSAE is still searching for its first win of the season.

 

Cardinal

Pool play location: Cardinal

Pool breakdown: Cardinal will have to face Van Buren, Winfield-Mount Union, Louisa-Muscatine and IMS Thursday. The tournament seeds are done so there is the same amount of competition in each pool, so don’t be deceived by Louisa-Muscatine’s ranking. This may be the only pool where any of the five teams could advance.

Team strengths: Coach Jerald Harter says that serving has been the team’s strength all season. The Comets can be tough to contend with if they get on a roll.

Team weaknesses: Depth may be Cardinal’s downfall, especially on a night like tonight where it has to play four games. Harter’s rotation is down to eight players.

Outlook: Pool four is completely up for grabs. The Comets will need to defeat talented IMS and Winfield-Mount Union squads if they want to play Saturday. Olivia Yutzy from IMS will be tough for Cardinal to handle at the net.

“It will be wide open,” Harter said. “Anything can happen in something like this.”

 

Van Buren

Pool play location: Cardinal

Pool breakdown: Van Buren is in pool four, which is the same as Cardinal.

Team strengths: Van Buren coach Matt Zeitler says that his team’s strength is receiving the ball.

Team weaknesses: Setter Libby King is out with an unspecified knee injury that she suffered Wednesday playing powderpuff football. Zeitler isn’t sure how he will manipulate his lineup in King’s absence. If king does play, she certainly will not be 100 percent.

Outlook: Losing King puts Van Buren’s chances of advancing in serious jeopardy. More responsibility will be on the shoulders of seniors Nicole Coffin and Alicia Fitzsimmons to perform.

 

Pools

Pool 1- at MSAE Fieldhouse

1. Holy Trinity Catholic

2.West Burlington

3. Pekin

4. WACO

5. Maharishi School

Pool 2- at Notre Dame

1. Mediapolis

2. Notre Dame

3. Central Lee

4. Danville

5. Harmony

Pool 3- at Wapello

1. New London

2. Highland

3. Wapello

4. Columbus

5. Lone Tree

Pool 4- at Cardinal

1. IMS

2. Winfield-Mount Union

3. Cardinal

4. Van Buren

5. Louisa-Muscatine

 

SEISC Seeds

1. Holy Trinity Catholic(21-1)

2. Mediapolis (13-2)

3. New London (17-3)

4. IMS (11-6)

5. Winfield Mount Union(9-7)

6. Highland (8-7)

7. Notre Dame (8-6)

8. West Burlington (9-5)

9. Pekin (6-4)

10. Central Lee (7-10)

11. Wapello (8-4)

12. Cardinal (5-5)

13. Van Buren (5-9)

14. Columbus (4-8)

15. Danville (8-8)

16. WACO (5-6)

17. Maharishi School (0-16)

18. Harmony (1-17)

19. Lone Tree (2-11)

20. Louisa-Muscatine (3-10)

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