SIOUX CITY | The Orange City Unity Christian junior duo of Corrina Timmermans and Jori Bronner had their usual impressive kill numbers as they guided their team to a straight set win over No. 10 Treynor in the Class 2A Region 2 final at East High School Tuesday.
The No. 5 Knights used late runs in the first two sets to pull away for 25-22 and 25-18 wins before leading from start to finish in the clincher 25-11.
Timmermans had 17 kills and Bronner 12 to lead Unity to the win and its 18th all-time state tournament berth.
It was the important contribution from the youngest member of the Knights squad that helped get some key points in a 6-0 run that closed off the second game.
Freshman Janie Schoonhoven had seven kills in the match but had three in the set-closing run, including back-to-back kills after the Cardinals had pulled to within 19-18.
"We had some great passes that afforded some great set to me," said Schoonhoven. "It was great teamwork, we just did it that way, it wasn't anything we planned."
Schoonhoven, the lone freshman on the Unity squad, is third on her team with 99 kills while Bronner and Timmermans both went over 400 kills for the season with their efforts Tuesday.
Unity Christian, a semifinalist in 2A a year ago, will face Council Bluffs St. Albert (26-4) in a first-round match up Nov. 9 at 4 p.m. in Cedar Rapids.
"It's good to start off strong," said Corrina Timmermans, daughter of Knight coach Patty Timmermans. "Treynor did well hitting at the net and swinging well in the first two sets, it was a fight at the net."
With her team up 19-17 in the first set, Bronner started a rally with an ace serve before Timmermans had consecutive kills to run the lead to five. Two more kills by Timmermans after the Cardinals had pulled back to within 22-20 helped put the Knights within a point of the first set before a Treynor error ended it.
"We set the tone early tonight and they battled with us early, said Patty Timmermans. "Third set, a lot of things went our way both offensively and defensively and we were able to take the wind out of their sails.
"We were able to pass the ball well and attack no matter who the ball went to. We had some errors early that we needed to clean up and after we did that, we were fine."
The loss ended Treynor's own effort to make its 18th trip to state, as the Cardinals failed to make it to state after a nine-year run ended last fall. Cardinal coach Keim Barents saw her team's seven-match win string come to an end with the loss.
"We've seen big hitters and did well blocking in the first two sets." said Barents. "In the first set the big difference was our serving."
"Third set they just got us early and early and we weren't able to recover on our serve receives."
The Cardinals made five service errors in the first game, including one on set point, but made only one after that. Danielle Kroeze had 13 digs to pace the Knight defense while Erin Wieringa had 38 assists and three ace serves.
Unity Christian (24-10) won its first-round match in four sets over Mediapolis a year ago before falling in straight sets to runner-up Waterloo Columbus.