WACO rolls, sets up mammoth semifinals

WAYLAND — Buckle up volleyball fans because next week’s Class 1A Region 8 action will be some of the best volleyball in the state. The WACO Warriors dominated in their quarterfinal match on Thursday, besting North Mahaska in three sets, earning the Warriors a spot in a stacked final four.

WACO won all three sets with relative ease. The Warriors took games 25-14, 25-17 and 25-17.

The Warriors were led by Morgan Graber, who ended the night with 13 kills. Molly McLaughlin added seven kills, and Ellah Kissell had four.

WACO had nine blocks in the win. Ellie Miles and Lona Farrier had three blocks apiece to lead the way. Aubri Garnsey once again led the back row, going for 16 digs.

Grace Coble dished out 27 assists for the Warriors. The only other assist all night came from Garnsey.

WACO served at a 93.2 percent efficiency, and tallied seven aces on the night. Garnsey led the way with three aces. Miles had two. Coble and Lindsey Roth each added one.

The win sets up one of the toughest semifinal fields in the entire state. The Class 1A Region 8 will include three ranked teams along with the Warriors, who were ranked in the second-to-last poll of the season.

WACO will travel to No. 10 Lisbon for their semifinal. The Lions are 26-4 and rolled over English Valleys in three sets. On the other side of the bracket, No. 14 Notre Dame will play at No. 8 Holy Trinity. The winners will play at Mt. Pleasant High School in the regional final.