WEBSTER CITY - The number 13 continues to be unlucky.
No, it wasn't Friday the 13th and Halloween is still weeks away. But unlucky is unlucky.
Just ask the Webster City volleyball team.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
WCHS senior setter Kaitlyn Kehoe (1) attempts to keep the ball alive after it ricochets off the net during last night’s North Central Conference match against Clarion-Goldfield. The Lynx trailed 2-0, tied the match 2-2, then lost in five sets.
Just hours after it entered the Class 4A rankings for the first time this season - can you guess where? - the No. 13 Lynx were unable to live up to the lofty billing in a North Central Conference bout against Clarion-Goldfield inside the WCHS gymnasium.
Trailing 2-0 early, the Lynx (12-5, 1-2 NCC) regrouped and fought back to win the next two sets. But Clarion-Goldfield came up with the clutch points at crunch time to secure the marathon match in five sets, 25-20, 26-24, 12-25, 22-25, 15-13.
The fifth set was tied at 13 before a WCHS attack error and Cowgirls' service ace sent the visitors into celebration mode.
Attacks - WCHS: Bridget Moriarty 26-29, 13 kills; Kaylee Schnathorst 44-54, 18 kills; Molly Gilbert 20-24, 9 kills; Hannah Myers 21-32, 7 kills; Mikaleh McCoy 3-5, 2 kills; Maddie Anderson 1-2, 1 kill.
Blocks - WCHS: Moriarty 5, Schnathorst 1, Gilbert 1, McCoy 5, Anderson 2.
Digs - WCHS: Kaitlyn Kehoe 12, Monica Maharry 5, Morgan Gourley 23, Ashley Price 3, Schnathorst 21, Gilbert 5.
Assists - WCHS: Kehoe 27, Price 19.
Serving - WCHS: Kehoe 14-14; Maharry 22-22; Gourley 15-15, 3 aces; Price 16-17, 1 ace; Schnathorst 21-22, 2 aces; Gilbert 15-17, 3 aces.
Lynx head coach Jess Howard says she didn't know her team had entered the top 15, but she's not superstitious. And she says it's not hard to figure out why her squad dropped its second straight league match.
"It's how you come out at the beginning of the match because that sets the tone, and in those first two (sets) we didn't come out aggressively. It's something I talk to the girls about all the time, and it's just something we've got to keep working on," she said.
Clarion-Goldfield (10-5, 2-1 NCC) - which avenged a loss to WCHS at the Lynx Invitational last Saturday - trailed for only one point in the opening set and led by as many as five on two occasions. The Cowgirls received back-to-back kills from Kaitlin Kubly and Jossie Sann from the middle of the floor to finish the set off.
WCHS responded in Set No. 2 on the strength of four kills from outside hitter Kaylee Schnathorst and three from fellow wing Molly Gilbert. Schnathorst's final hammer of the stanza gave the Lynx a 23-19 advantage.
But the Cowgirls answered by scoring seven of the next eight points to seize the 2-0 cushion. Sann gave her team set point with a smash off the block, and a Lynx attack error on the ensuing point put them in a big hole.
"They definitely didn't overpower us, but they did a good job of finding the holes in our defense," Howard said. "We adjusted a little bit in the third and fourth (sets)."
Schnathorst went on the attack 54 times and finished with 18 kills. Middle hitter Bridget Moriarty went off quick sets most of the night to hammer down 13, Gilbert checked in with nine and Hannah Myers added seven.
WCHS still made 31 errors on the attack while its most consistent hitter from last season - junior Morgan Gourley - continued to play the role of libero. Gourley collected 23 digs, and Schnathorst chipped in 21.
"(Gourley) is a very consistent hitter for us and we definitely do miss her in the front row, but we are seeing some good things from our younger girls," Howard said. "We just can't dwell on these losses because they're over with."
Setter Kaitlyn Kehoe doled out 27 assists to go along with 12 digs. Ashley Price handed out 19 assists.
WCHS will attempt to shake off the two-match skid on Saturday when it takes part in the Forest City Invitational.