Consistency carries WCHS spikers to title

WEBSTER CITY – A noticeable improvement from previous outings at net helped the Webster City volleyball team sweep three matches and win its own tournament inside the WCHS gymnasium on Saturday.

After committing 33 attack errors in a five-set loss to Iowa Falls-Alden last Thursday, WCHS responded by limiting the miscues to just 14 in three matches en route to 2-0 victories over Clarke (21-6, 21-4), Clarion-Goldfield-Dows (27-25, 21-16) and Southeast Valley (21-7, 21-6) at the Lynx Invite.

WCHS (7-6) hit a season-best .409 as a team with 59 kills in 110 chances. Middle hitter Olivia Myers was close to unstoppable with 14 kills and a .619 kill efficiency, while Taylor Schnathorst put up a .500 efficiency rating with a team-best 18 kills.

Halle Mason and Kamry Dawson added nine kills each, while Cassidy Nerland and Courtney Lampman finished with four a piece.

The Lynx opened their day by allowing just 10 points against Clarke and it set the tone for the remainder of the tournament.

“This is the best I’ve seen (the girls) come out on a Saturday focused for that first match,” WCHS head coach Jess Howard said. “Consistency, both in the aspects of serving and attacking, was much better. We’re constantly stressing to eliminate errors on our side and the girls did a good job of that.”

Taking down North Central Conference rival and tournament runner-up CGD was a confidence booster. WCHS trailed in both sets before rallying behind the hitting of Schnathorst (eight kills) and Myers (five kills).

“To come out strong against Clarion was nice,” Howard said. “We did get in a little bit of a hole in both games, but we were able to dig our way out.”

WCHS didn’t make a single error in 29 attack opportunities and produced 18 kills against Southeast Valley.

Serving was a strength with 14 aces and just six errors in 130 chances. Mason (28-28, one ace), Cynthia Whitehill (21-21, four aces) and Sarah Vogelbacher (24-24) were all perfect, while Courtney Lampman (25-26, seven aces) and Gianna Gourley (17-18, two aces) made just one mistake each.

Vogelbacher handed out a team-high 33 assists, while Lampman dished out 17.

Schnathorst was strong in the back row as well with 17 digs, while Gourley registered 12.

WCHS will head to Humboldt on Tuesday to take on the ninth-ranked (Class 3A) and reigning NCC champion Wildcats at 7:30 p.m.