By Doug Brenneman,
BURLINGTON -- The idea is to win, but finishing second in a volleyball tournament with two ranked teams is an accomplishment. Iowa Mennonite School placed second Saturday at the Notre Dame tourney.
?I didn?t think we would finish second, so it feels really good,? IMS? Rubye Ney said. ?We played really hard against these teams, I think we really stepped it up. The skill level rose with each team we played, especially in the championship, it was pretty high. It feels good that we were competitive with a team like that.?
In pool play, IMS defeated Pekin to open the tournament 21-13, 23-21. IMS then downed Danville 21-13, 22-20. IMS overcame Notre Dame 11-21, 21-14, 15-9 to win the pool play.
?We have the mentality that we will just play our hardest and see what happens,? Ney said. ?If we play with that mentality, we do really well.?
?We practice a lot for out-of-system stuff and randomness,? IMS coach Shannon Miller said. ?I think that really helped us in our first three matches. We communicated really well. We had our starting setter, Sam Miller, back, after she was out the first four matches.?
IMS lost three of those and got its first victory Thursday against visiting Lone Tree.
In the championship, IMS faced Davenport Assumption, which had won the other pool that included Class 1A?s 14th-ranked New London. Assumption is ranked fourth in Class 3A.
IMS had a 17-10 lead on Assumption in the first set before losing the title match, 25-20, 25-15.
?It seemed like they took a while to warm up and then they were just pounding them,? Ney said.
?Everyone played their roles really well,? Coach Miller said. ?We don?t usually see teams like Assumption with that physical of players, so this was a good opportunity for us. I thought we did really well, although it?s too bad we couldn?t expand that 17-10 lead. A lot of learning went on.?
IMS plays at Louisa-Muscatine today.