EAGLE GROVE - Oh no, not again.
That had to be going through the Webster City volleyball players' minds here last night as they stared at an 11-2 deficit early in Set No. 1 against North Central Conference rival Eagle Grove.
Losers of six of eight matches and three consecutive league contests entering the bout, the reigning NCC champion Lynx needed a momentum-building outing to get things turned around.
DFJ photo by Tracy Runneberg
Webster City blockers Mikaleh McCoy (left) and Bridget Moriarty (4) send the ball right back at Eagle Grove’s Riley Quintus (11) last night during the Lynx 3-0 win in Eagle Grove. McCoy had seven rejections in the sweep.
It didn't happen early on, but eventually WCHS woke up and took control, disposing of the Eagles in three sets, 25-20, 25-19, 25-15.
It was during a one-minute timeout while down nine points that something clicked for the Lynx. Whatever head coach Jess Howard said obviously worked.
"That was a timeout we took to get our composure back and to get back in our rhythm," she said. "From there we just starting running our offense, and the girls needed this night to come back strong and to build up that confidence."
Attacks - WCHS: Bridget Moriarty 3-4, 2 kills; Morgan Gourley 15-22, 6 kills; Kaylee Schnathorst 25-30, 14 kills; Molly Gilbert 10-10, 4 kills; Hannah Myers 8-9, 5 kills; Mikaleh McCoy 1-2, 1 kill.
Blocks - WCHS: Moriarty 3, Schnathorst 1, Gilbert 1, Myers 4, McCoy 7.
Digs - WCHS: Monica Maharry 8, Gourley 9, Ashley Price 3, Schnathorst 9, Gilbert 12, Myers 2, McCoy 1.
Assists - WCHS: Kaitlyn Kehoe 6, Gourley 1, Price 24, Myers 1.
Serving - WCHS: Kehoe 7-7, 1 ace; Maharry 16-17, 1 ace; Gourley 6-7; Price 17-17, 3 aces; Schnathorst 14-15, 1 ace; Gilbert 10-11, 3 aces.
WCHS (15-9, 2-3 NCC) scored nine of the next 11 points to climb back into contention and eventually took the lead for good.
Eagle Grove (7-19, 0-5 NCC) was never able to seriously threaten during the final two sets.
Junior outside hitter Kaylee Schnathorst smashed a match-high 14 kills in the sweep. Classmate Morgan Gourley crunched six, and sophomores Hannah Myers and Molly Gilbert chipped in five and four, respectively.
Attack errors surpassed 30 in recent losses to Humboldt and Iowa Falls-Alden, but last night the Lynx lowered that number to 15 - a key to the rout.
"We've been working on our consistency and we did a much better job of keeping the ball inbounds while staying aggressive," Howard said. "That's been a thorn in our side in the past."
The front row players were also potent defensively, rolling up 16 blocks. Sophomore Mikaleh McCoy collected seven snuffs.
Junior Ashley Price was the offensive architect with 24 assists, and she and Gilbert both smacked three service aces.
"Ashley did a great job of taking control and getting the ball where it needed to be," Howard said. "The passes were where they were supposed to be as well and that helped a lot."
Gilbert tallied 12 digs, Gourley and Schnathorst both had nine, and Monica Maharry finished with eight.
WCHS will take a jump up in competition on Thursday when it hosts Algona at 7:15 p.m. The Lynx beat the Bulldogs twice at the Algona Invitational earlier in the season.
"We're ready for that next competition," Howard said. "We've been mentally preparing for that match and the girls are ready to take that on."