WCHS spikers sweep Lions, move one win away from another league title

CLEAR LAKE – And then the magic number was one.

Fierce at net and in control throughout, the Webster City volleyball team went on the road and disposed of Clear Lake in three sets, 25-18, 25-20, 25-18, Tuesday night.

The Lynx (16-10, 5-1 NCC) fourth straight victory and third consecutive North Central Conference win put them on the doorstep of a repeat league championship and a third title in the past four years.

“We were a little out of sync and didn’t run our offense as quick as we normally do, but the girls played well enough to come out on top,” WCHS head coach Jess Howard said following the sweep of the Lions (4-19, 1-5 NCC). “Each conference match has been a must-win for us and that has forced us to play at the top of our game each time out.”

WCHS will host 15th-ranked (Class 3A) Algona (23-8, 3-2 NCC) next Tuesday in the conference finale. No. 9 Iowa Falls-Alden and Humboldt – both with one league loss as well – will square off next Thursday, most likely for a share of the crown with the Lynx should they knock off Algona.

Algona owns a 1-0 edge on WCHS this season. The Bulldogs swept a pair of sets at their own tournament back on Sept. 6.

Howard says her club will begin preparations for Algona right away and will use Saturday’s Johnston Invitational as a tune-up.

“It’s a very pivotal match for the girls and they understand how serious we have to take this in practice,” Howard said of the upcoming meeting with Algona. “Hopefully that will carry us into the postseason.”

WCHS hit an efficient .222 against Clear Lake and three players – Hannah Williams, Alex Dinsdale and Hannah Myers – hit .389 or better.

Molly Gilbert led the front row with 10 kills. Myers checked in with eight, Dinsdale slapped six and Williams came off the bench to provide five.

WCHS compiled 31 kills against just 11 errors.

Setter Taylor Schnathorst returned to the lineup after a one-match absence because of illness and delivered 28 assists.

Myers upped her league lead in solo blocks to 59 and total blocks to 77 with five snuffs. She ranks second in 4A in solo rejections and fifth in total blocks.

Gilbert led the Lynx in the back row with 14 digs, while libero Gianna Gourley contributed 12. Schnathorst registered eight and Carly Jacobson finished with seven.

Gourley, Schnathorst and Kenzie Garvey all notched one service ace.