2018 Iowa High School Girls State Volleyball Tournament

Independence and its fans went on an emotional roller-coaster ride in the quarterfinals of the Iowa High School Girls State Volleyball Tournament Tuesday night (Nov. 6, 2018).

The Mustangs battled two-time defending champion Dubuque Wahlert to the wire in the Class 4A quarterfinals, but their valiant effort come up short. Independence dropped an intense five-set match to the Golden Eagles, falling 17-15 in the final set after mounting a furious rally.

Trailing 12-8, the Mustangs put together a 5-0 run to take a 13-12 lead. But, Kansas State recruit Aliyah Carter closed out the victory for Wahlert, scoring four of her team's final five points.

Carter, a junior, recorded 31 kills to lead the Golden Eagles. On the other side of the net, Independence senior Madison Larson tied a Class 4A state tournament record with 34 kills.

The two squads traded victories in the opening four sets.

Wahlert ran away with a 25-17 victory in the opener, after trailing 8-4. The Mustangs led most of the second set, while battling for a 29-27 win. The Golden Eagles took the third set 25-17, and Independence took the fourth 25-16.

The Mustangs, who returned five starters from a team that fell in the first round to Cedar Rapids Xavier in 2017, end their season at 34-7. Tuesday night's epic quarterfinal was the only five-set match Independence played all year.

Wahlert (24-12) advances to the 4A semifinals. The Golden Eagles will play top-seeded Sergeant Bluff-Luton at noon on Thursday, also at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids. The Warriors advanced with a 3-1 victory over West Delaware.

The Hawks, playing in their first state tournament since winning the 4A title in 2015, dropped the opening set 25-15. They evened the match at 1-1 with a 25-20 victory in set two, but were overpowered the rest of the way. The Warriors took the final two sets, 25-18 and 25-21.

Senior Claire Demmer led West Delaware with 15 kills and a .367 hitting efficiency.

The Hawks finished their season at 33-11. Sergeant Bluff-Luton improved its record to 35-6.