What’s at stake when the Ankeny volleyball team travels across town to face Ankeny Centennial on Tuesday night?
Well, mostly it’s pride. And bragging rights.
Both teams enter the match with 2-1 records in the CIML Central Conference. Seventh-ranked Dowling Catholic leads the league with a 3-0 mark and can wrap up the conference title with wins over Urbandale and Ames, so the Jag-Hawk matchup appears to be a battle for second place.
No. 4 Ankeny (27-5) is riding a seven-match winning streak. The Hawkettes’ last loss came to Class 4A No. 1 Sergeant Bluff-Luton, 25-22, 26-24, in the semifinals of the Waukee Invitational on Sept. 21.
Ankeny won the Boone Invitational title on Sept. 28 despite playing without junior middle hitter McKenna Scheib, who suffered a sprained ankle during the Hawkettes’ victory at Urbandale four days earlier. Scheib–who ranks fifth on the team with 92 kills–also did not play in Ankeny’s win over Ames on Oct. 1, but could be back in the lineup for Tuesday’s match.
Centennial, meanwhile, will be looking to snap a three-match losing streak. The Jaguars are 10-11 on the season after losing at Dowling, 25-19, 25-15, 25-15, on Oct. 1.
Centennial leads the all-time series by a 5-2 margin. Both of Ankeny’s wins, however, came on the road.
The Hawkettes won a four-set match at Centennial in the inaugural meeting in 2013. They won a five-set thriller at Centennial in 2016, but the Jaguars rebounded from the loss to capture their third consecutive Class 5A state title.
Centennial swept last year’s match at Ankeny and went on to claim another state championship–its fourth in the last five years under coach Jessica Rinehart.
Ankeny coach Dave Whims owns a 1-1 record against the Jaguars. He retired after the 2014 season, but came back to coach the Hawkettes this season and recently earned his 1,000th career victory.