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CEDAR RAPIDS | Although they didn’t get their desired result, the Green Devils walked off the court knowing they could compete with the best.

Osage’s volleyball team fell to top-ranked Kuemper Catholic in five sets Thursday, losing 18-25, 25-23, 25-21, 21-25, 13-15.

Momentum seemed to be in Osage’s favor for much of the match, especially after taking a 2-1 lead with an impressive third-set victory. After claiming the fourth set, the Knights (44-1) appeared to seize control in the fifth, taking a 5-0 lead, which caused Osage coach Andie Olson to call a timeout.

The Green Devils (30-7) responded well coming out of timeouts Wednesday, and the same could be said Thursday. After regrouping, Osage looked like a new team and became the aggressors.

“We can just feel the energy in the timeout,” Olson said. “I needed more timeouts so we could get that a couple more times. We do come out of timeouts really fired up and ready to go.”

The tightened and refined focus led to a run that saw the Green Devils score 13 of the next 19 points, taking a 13-11 lead, two points away from advancing to a state championship. But then Kuemper Catholic called a timeout of its own and regained composure, scoring four consecutive points to seal the match.

Kara Peter and Aimee Adams did most of the damage for the Knights, combining for 47 kills, only 12 less than Osage’s entire team. Kara was also a force at the net, coming up with five solo blocks.

The Green Devils had a more balanced effort, with three players combining for 48 kills. Paige Kisley finished with 13, Sydney Midlang finished with 17, and Danielle Johnson finished with 18.

Rylie Olson and Maci Overmohle did an excellent job setting teammates up for success, totaling 54 and 56 assists, respectively.

“We knew we were the underdog,” Andie Olson said. “It was a David and Goliath kind of deal. We talked about having no pressure, and just coming in and playing the kind of ball we knew we were capable of playing, and to leave everything on the court. I felt like our kids did that.”

Osage loses seniors Midlang, Rylie Olson, Kourtney Chambers, Olivia Dodd, Kaitlyn Baer, Katelyn Halbach and Kate Mostek next year, but the team is still loaded with young talent. The Green Devils' journey ended in the state playoffs for the third consecutive season, and it wouldn't surprise many if they ended up on top next season.

“This gives us so much hunger,” Johnson said. “We’re already ready to be back next year. We’re ready to win a state championship next year, and we’re gonna start working for it tomorrow."

Photos: Osage volleyball vs. Kuemper Catholic

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Reach Sports Reporter Luke A. Garza at 641-421-0540 or follow him on Twitter @LukeAGarza


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