Kee volleyball team has season ended by perennial power Tripoli in title match

Kee volleyball senior Kendra Cooper takes aim at this kill attempt in the Hawks’ three-set loss to seventh-rated Tripoli in the Class 1A Region 5 championship match Tuesday, October 31 at Crestwood High School. Cooper wrapped up her high school volleyball career in leadership style with a team-high 10 kills while also serving up one ace in the match. View and find out how to purchase this photo and many more at the Photo Galleries link on this website.

The Kee volleyball team had its dramatic postseason tournament run come to an end Tuesday, October 31, but it took a perennial net power to finally derail that Hawk tournament train and prevent Kee history from being made one more time just one match shy of the State Tournament. Having steamrolled fellow Upper Iowa Conference opponent Turkey Valley to begin that tournament trek, the Hawks went the distance in dramatic fashion in their next two matches, including an upset at 10th-rated Dunkerton several days prior to end up in the Region 5 championship match against seventh-rated Tripoli at Crestwood High School.

The traditionally strong Panther program came into that championship tilt with 17 State Tournament appearances in the last 19 seasons, winning 11 State Championships during that run. The Panthers were coming off a very strange season to them, as not only had they not won a State Championship in the last four seasons but Tripoli didn’t even make the season grand finale for just the second time in the past 19 seasons. This year’s squad was obviously determined to right that historical wrong, as the Panthers bolted to a 0-11 headstart in set one of their match with the Hawks to set an early tone that would eventually play out to a sweep of the Kee netters by scores of 8-25, 16-25 and 18-25.

The Hawks wrapped up their 2017 campaign with a 21-15 match record that included a mark of 5-4 in Upper Iowa Conference play. With its defeat of Kee, Tripoli earned its 18th State Tournament berth in the past 20 seasons and will square off in a Wednesday, November 8 first-round match-up with third-rated LeMars Gehlen Catholic at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids. Kee’s Upper Iowa Conference colleague, fourth-rated Starmont, returned to this season’s Class 1A State Tournament field and will match-up with fifth-rated Holy Trinity Catholic November 8 as well.

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