HUXLEY - Aggressive at times and slightly back on its heels in other moments, the Webster City volleyball team opened its 2012 season with a split against non-conference opponents Ballard and North Polk here last night.
The Lynx caught fire early and handled Ballard with ease in straight sets, 25-17 and 25-11. They led North Polk early in both sets before the Comets eventually caught up and stormed ahead for the two-set win, 25-21 and 25-18.
"I thought we had some good moments and some moments where we let down in our focus, especially in the North Polk match," WCHS head coach Jess Howard said. "We started out aggressively and got up on North Polk, but then we let the lead fizzle."
The coach felt her team's lack of execution at net translated into shaky defense as well.
"Our defense started to lag when our offense went soft," Howard said. "So if we can continue to be aggressive at net, our defense will stay strong as well."
Junior all-state outside hitter Kaylee Schnathorst was prominent at net with 15 kills in the two matches. Classmate Morgan Gourley blasted eight, Bridget Moriarty rattled off six and Molly Gilbert had four.
Attacks - WC: Bridget Moriarty 11-14, 6 kills; Morgan Gourley 15-20, 8 kills; Kaylee Schnathorst 26-34, 15 kills; Molly Gilbert 7-8, 4 kills; Hannah Myers 6-6, 1 kill; Mikaleh McCoy 4-4, 1 kill.
Blocks - WC: Moriarty 4, Schnathorst 2, Gilbert 1, Myers 2, McCoy 2.
Digs - WC: Kaitlyn Kehoe 5, Monica Maharry 9, Moriarty 2, Gourley 18, Ashley Price 7, Schnathorst 16, Gilbert 3, McCoy 3, Tiffany Constable 17.
Assists - WC: Kehoe 20, Price 12, Gilbert 1, Constable 1.
Serving - WC: Kehoe 10-11, 1 ace; Maharry 13-14; Gourley 9-11; Price 19-20, 5 aces; Schnathorst 8-9; Constable 10-11, 1 ace.
Kaitlyn Kehoe and Ashley Price shared the setting duties, dishing out 20 and 12 assists, respectively.
Gourley collected 18 digs, libero Tiffany Constable had 17 and Schnathorst 16. Monica Maharry added nine.
WCHS missed six serves in all and scored seven aces. Price had five of the ace serves.
"Staying focused back behind the service line is one thing we're going to work on this weekend," Howard said. "We missed way too many serves at opportune times."
WCHS will travel north on Saturday to take part in the Algona Invitational. Play will get started at 9 a.m.