By Kristi Nixon
CEDAR RAPIDS — If seventh-seeded and ninth-ranked Osage was expecting a dog-fight from second-seeded and second-ranked Wilton, it didn’t get it.
The Green Devils played like they were in control the whole time in a 25-19, 25-20, 25-22 sweep of the Beavers at the Alliant Energy Powerhouse on Tuesday, Nov. 2.
“We came in as the underdog against the No. 2 team in the state, you’re going to expect a five-set battle like (against) Sumner (in the regional final), and that is what you prepare for,” Osage coach Bryan Tabbert said, “but we cruised and we took them in three.”
Claudia Aschenbrenner led the Green Devils with 13 kills, picking things up after the first set in which she had three.
“I knew we could do it,” Aschenbrenner said. “We all kept saying we were going to come out hard and strong and we’re going to finish. We were going to start how we finished with Sumner. All of us were amazing and I’m really proud of all of us. It was nice to see knowing we could win and keep pushing.
“It really is amazing and fun to see. Last year, we were the big dogs and now we’re the underdogs and it’s nice to show people that even though we’re not the team from last year, we’re still really good this year.”
Meredith Street, who had five kills after the first set, added 11 for Osage, which is on a 10-match win streak.
“It feels awesome,” Street said. “We knew we could come out and compete and win. We think we were a little under-rated coming in at seven. There is some huge talent here in 2A. We proved that we can compete with all of them.”
The Green Devils play Western Christian Wednesday at 4 p.m. The Wolfpack, which had to battle to a five-set win against Dyersville Beckman, ended Osage’s season in 2019. The Wolfpack have been to 21 straight semifinals.
“Last time we were in 2A, two years ago, state semifinals, we got bounced by Western Christian so the girls probably have that fresh in their memory,” Tabbert said. “That would be great if they can win against either squad. Both are very strong programs.”
Aschenbrenner confirmed that she knows that Western Christian was the Green Devils’ last loss at state.
“Western Christian is always a good team,” Aschenbrenner said, “and we’re going to come out strong and make sure we’re ready and I think we’re ready for sure.”
Street added, “Our next match will obviously be a good, tough one. But, anything can happen, we were down in our sub-state match 0-2 and we came back and won it. We’re here and we can win it. That game prepared us for down here.”
This story will be updated in the Nov. 6 print edition of the Enterprise Journal