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PREP VOLLEYBALL

Sergeant Bluff-Luton opens Class 3A volleyball playoffs with sweep over Harlan

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Sergeant Bluff-Luton defeats Carroll volleyball

Sergeant Bluff-Luton's Emma Salker hits a kill, Tuesday, during Sergeant Bluff-Luton vs Carroll volleyball action last season in Sergeant Bluff. 

SERGEANT BLUFF — The Sergeant Bluff-Luton High School volleyball team knew it had to ramp up the intensity on Monday, and the Warriors did so in the first set in a Class 3A regional quarterfinal against Harlan.

The Warriors won the first set against the Cyclones 25-9, and then the Warriors went on to win the final two sets 25-14, 25-13 to make it one step closer to the state tournament later this month in Cedar Rapids.

SB-L has made it to the state tournament seven times — including a state championship in 2019 — and the Warriors know in order to get there, they have to raise the level of play.

They didn’t look at Harlan’s record, now 13-23 after Monday’s loss. All the Warriors looked at their postseason record: 0-0.

“They’ve got seniors and we’ve got seniors, so you just have to go out and play,” Warriors coach Renee Winkel said. “It gives them a different push, a different mentality. It makes the atmosphere a little bit more electric.”

The Warriors started out the match with an 8-3 lead, and led by as much by 15-6. They went on a 6-0 run, including an Alexa Trover ace.

Payton Hardy had a pair of kills, while Addy Mosier also recorded a kill in that stretch.

That 15-6 lead set the tone early, and the smiles and celebrations kept going throughout the night.

The first set ended with a 4-0 run, starting off with an Isabelle Lenz kill.

Then, in the second set, the Warriors started set No. 2 with a 5-0 start. Mosier started the set off with two straight kills.

Maddie Hinkel followed that up with a solo block, then Mosier came back with a kill to make it 4-0.

Senior Emma Salker, who led the Warriors with 10 kills, posted a kill to put her team up 5-0. By the time Harlan called its second timeout, the Warriors led 20-10.

“It was a good team win, and it gave us a lot of confidence to begin the postseason,” Salker said. “Tonight was a good win for us. Everyone is going to give you their best, and you just have to be ready for everything.”

In the third set, the Warriors led by as many as 16-5.

“They wanted to come out and make a statement, and I think they came out and did that,” Winkel said.

Lenz had seven kills, while Trover and Hardy had six.

Hinkel had 36 assists.

Salker and Alivia Wolf had seven digs.

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