Sports, Tuesday, November 3rd

Written by Nathan Bloechl on November 3, 2020

By: Nathan Bloechl — sports@kilj.com 

Tigers Prepare for State Tournament Appearance:

The No. 6 New London Tigers will have to wait to be one of the last quarterfinal games to be played — but they often say good things come to those who wait.

New London is hoping that old axiom comes to life tonight when they take on LeMars Gehlen Catholic in a Class 1A State Volleyball quarterfinal at 8:00 p.m.

The Tigers, finally at full strength, are playing some of their best volleyball after falling in early October to West Burlington.

That was a huge match. Even though we didn’t win it it made us tougher, and ever since then we’ve just decided to go full steam ahead” Heath told KILJ.

Matter of fact since that point, New London has won eight straight — including sweeping their way to the State Tournament.

The Tigers blitzed Region 5 with wins over Moravia, Melcher-Dallas and previously undefeated and then No. 5 Southeast Warren in the Region Finals.

Tonight their streak will be usurped by a Gehlen Catholic squad that has won 19 consecutive matches.

The Jays have lost only two sets since September 20th — they’ve been elite.

A balanced offensive attack is led by senior hitter Rachel Langel, who leads the team with 191 kills.

She’s one of five Jays to compile over 100 kills this season.

Junior defensive specialist Alyssa Kolbeck has been a lynchpin in the back row for Gehlen Catholic, totaling 264 digs — a team-high — this season.

Built similarly, New London also had five girls eclipse triple digits in kills, led by sophomore Keaura Williams who finished the season with a team-best 219 kills.

Joining her in triple digits were Sofie Reighard, Paris Wilka, Natalie Burden and Marah Hartrick.

You can listen to tonight’s game on KILJ-FM and kilj.com with coverage beginning at 8:00 p.m. from the Alliant Energy PowerHouse in Cedar Rapids.

Day One State Volleyball Scoreboard:

Class 5A:

No. 1 Dowling Catholic 3, No. 8 Dubuque Hempstead 1

No. 5 Iowa City Liberty 3, No. 3 WDM Valley 1

No. 2 Ankeny 3, No. 7 Ankeny Centennial 1

No. 3 Pleasant Valley, No. 6 Cedar Falls 1

Class 4A:

No. 1 Cedar Rapids Xavier 3, No. 8 Dallas Center-Grimes

No. 4 Western Dubuque 3, No. 5 Sergeant Bluff-Luton 2

No. 7 Gilbert 3, No. 2 North Scott 0

No. 6 West Delaware 3, No. 3 Glenwood 2

Class 3A:

No. 1 Osage 3, No. 8 Humboldt 0

No. 2 Clarion-Goldfield-Dows 3, No. 7 Red Oak 0

Four Panthers Named First Team All-District:

Jack Johnson, Henry Lutovsky, Chase Williamson and Cooper Pullis have been named First Team All Class 3A District 5, Director of Athletics Scott Lamm has announced.

Johnson finished this year be completing 54.7% of his passes for 1,240 yards and 10 touchdowns, while rushing for 916 yards (6.8 yards per carry) and 12 more scores.

He finished inside the top-10 in Class 3A in All-Purpose Yards.

Lutovsky, a Nebraska football recruit, was also named the District’s Most Outstanding Lineman.

Williamson surged down the stretch for Mount Pleasant, leading the team with 558 yards on 31 snags with two touchdowns. He was also electric in the return game, leading the Panthers with 22.7 yards per kickoff return and 17.2 per punt return.

Pullis was a staple along the offensive line for Shawn Striegel’s group, starting seven of eight games at various positions along the front.

The Panthers also had four on the Second Team All-District list:

  • Brennen Bender
  • Brady Hall
  • Klayton Kleinkopf
  • Brevin Wilson

Mount Pleasant finished their season with a record of 4-4 dropping to North Scott 58-26 in the second round of the Class 3A Playoffs.

Iowa’s Smith-Marsette Suspened for OWI:

Iowa wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette has been suspended for one game following an arrest for operating a vehicle while under the influence.

According to reports, Smith-Marsette was arrested around 1:30 AM on Sunday morning after driving 70 mph in a 30 mph zone.

Smith-Marsette had 722 yards receiving and 108 yards rushing last season for Iowa, which is 0-2 after Saturday’s 21-20 home loss to Northwestern.

The Hawkeyes will host upstart Michigan State this weekend.

Sparty is coming off a huge upset over then No. 13 Michigan, 27-24 in Ann Arbor.

The Spartans are quarterbacked by former West Des Moines Valley gunslinger Rocky Lombardi.

Kickoff from Kinnick Stadium is set for 11:00 a.m.