Tuesday’s CIML Conference volleyball showdown between Ankeny and Ankeny Centennial will break a 7-7 tie in the all-time series.
Neither team has ever won more than three straight matches against its crosstown rival. The Hawkettes won both meetings last year, but the Jaguars defeated Ankeny earlier this season at the Centennial Invitational and will also host the rematch.
Here’s a closer look at the matchup:
Coach: Liz Baethke (1st season)
Record: 3-2, 19-11
Current ranking: 5th in Class 5A by the Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union
Streak: Won 1
Leading hitter: Kamryn Scheib (203 kills)
Coach: Jessica Rinehart (11th season)
Record: 4-1, 21-5
Current ranking: 2nd in Class 5A by the Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union
Streak: Lost 1
Leading hitter: Delaney Miller (285 kills)
First meeting: Centennial won, 25-23, 25-17, at the Centennial Invitational on Aug. 26.
Analysis: The Hawkettes have battled injuries all season and might be without their two Division I recruits, Aowyn Schrader and Tanith Roush, the rest of the way. They’ve also been dealing with some sickness. Scheib stayed home on Saturday when Ankeny traveled to the Waverly-Shell Rock Invitational, where the Hawkettes went 2-3 on the day–including losses to unranked opponents Iowa City Liberty and Nevada. Ankeny has used a different lineup just about every week this season, resulting in some inconsistent play. Centennial, meanwhile, is coming off a second-place finish at the Urbandale Invitational, where the Jaguars split four matches against top-10 opponents, including a quarterfinal victory against No. 3 Waukee Northwest–which had just swept the Hawkettes four days earlier.
Prediction: Centennial 3-1. If Scheib is back in Ankeny’s lineup, I think the Hawkettes will at least be competitive. She had just two kills in the earlier loss to Centennial, but became a bigger part of the team’s attack after Schrader suffered a torn UCL in her right elbow during a match at Johnston on Sept. 5. While Ankeny uses a pair of setters in Lauren Dockendorff and Cloey Wiederin, the Jaguars rely almost exclusively on senior Kambria Leazer, who has racked up 555 assists and also ranks fourth on the team in kills with 58. She’s had a tremendous season, and she could be the difference tonight. Three of Centennial’s losses have been to No. 1 teams–Dowling Catholic, Western Christian (Hull) and Dike-New Hartford. Another loss came to Indianola, the No. 2 team in Class 4A, but the Jaguars later avenged that defeat at the Metro Classic. Look for Centennial to get the win that will keep its conference title hopes alive.