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Lynx continue to have Algona’s number, win thriller in 5 sets

WCHS gets back to .500 in NCC with fourth straight victory over Bulldogs

September 28, 2012
By Troy Banning - Sports Editor (sports@freemanjournal.net) , The Daily Freeman Journal

WEBSTER CITY - Algona head volleyball coach Shelly TerHark picked up the 700th victory of her legendary career Tuesday night.

But No. 701 will simply have to wait.

Webster City made sure of that on Thursday.

Article Photos

DFJ photo by Troy Banning
Webster City junior Morgan Gourley goes to the floor for a dig against Algona last night inside the WCHS gym. The Lynx rallied to beat the Bulldogs, 3-2.

It took a while - five sets and them some actually - but the Lynx were able to made the necessary adjustments when needed to rally from a 2-1 deficit and beat the Bulldogs, 25-21, 22-25, 18-25, 27-25, 19-17, inside the WCHS gym.

The Lynx have beaten North Central Conference rival Algona four consecutive times, but this was the toughest of triumphs during that stretch.

"It was good to see the girls come together and play as a team," WCHS head coach Jess Howard said. "That's the one thing we've been missing throughout the season, but they did a great job of building each other up and helping each other out."

Fact Box

Attacks - WCHS: Bridget Moriarty 20-29, 10 kills; Morgan Gourley 27-39, 13 kills; Kaylee Schnathorst 48-60, 30 kills; Molly Gilbert 24-28, 6 kills; Hannah Myers 13-19, 4 kills; Mikaleh McCoy 1-4, 1 kill.

Blocks - WCHS: Moriarty 4, Schnathorst 2, Gilbert 1, Myers 3.

Digs - WCHS: Kaitlyn Kehoe 3, Monica Maharry 6, Moriarty 3, Gourley 24, Ashley Price 2, Schnathorst 32, Gilbert 7, Myers 2, McCoy 3, Tiffany Constable 20.

Assists - WCHS: Kehoe 30, Maharry 1, Gourley 1, Price 27, Schnathorst 1, Gilbert 3, McCoy 1.

Serving - WCHS: Kehoe 16-16, 1 ace; Maharry 13-14, 1 ace; Gourley 20-22, 1 ace; Price 24-24, 3 aces; Schnathorst 14-15, 2 aces; Gilbert 19-19, 2 aces.

Senior libero Tiffany Constable returned from a month-long absence because of injury to stabilize the Lynx (16-9, 3-3 NCC) back row. She piled up 20 digs.

"Tiff is one of those kids that isn't very vocal, but she leads with her play and does her job, and the kids follow that," Howard said. "Having her back on the court is great for us."

Outside hitter Kaylee Schnathorst was a wrecking ball at times. She walloped a match-high 30 kills - she had eight in Set No. 2 alone - and also collected a team-best 32 digs.

Schnathorst was all over the floor early on, diving forward, backward and side-to-side for balls that enabled WCHS to lead throughout the opening set.

"Kaylee did a great job of keeping the ball in play for us and hitting aggressively," Howard said. "They did a good job of defending her, but she moved it around the block when she had to."

Morgan Gourley returned to her familiar front-row spot and bashed 13 kills, including the game-winner off the shoulder of an Algona back row player. Gourley took over as the team's libero in Constable's absence.

Bridget Moriarty checked in with 10 kills, Molly Gilbert finished with six and Hannah Myers had four.

"We had some girls come up and play strong and that was the difference," Howard said. "Morgan had more kills than she usually does and Bridget played really well."

Gourley also had 24 digs. Setters Kaitlyn Kehoe and Ashley Price distributed 30 and 27 assists, respectively.

Algona (16-10, 4-2 NCC) didn't take the lead for the first time until 12-11 of the second set. The Bulldogs went to a fast-paced offense in the second set, utilizing the quick-strike capabilities of middle hitter Ali Grein, and she led them to an easy win in the third set as well.

But, eventually, WCHS regrouped.

"They didn't do that at all in the first (set), but came out and really used their middle to their benefit and it took us out of what we expected," Howard said. "It took us a couple of (sets) to get our defense adjusted to that.

"We took our time in between (the third and fourth sets) to regroup and get our composure back. We really stressed to keep our offense fast and the girls did a good job of doing that."

 
 

 

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