Rally falls short

WEBSTER CITY – Webster City expended a lot of energy to rally out of a two-set deficit against Iowa Falls-Alden last night inside the WCHS gymnasium.

Too much energy.

Scratching and clawing with everything it had just to pull even at 2, WCHS was unable to sustain the momentum in the fifth and final set. Iowa Falls-Alden took the lead for good at 4-3 and built a nice cushion en route to the 3-2 victory, 25-18, 25-20, 23-25, 21-25, 15-8.

It was the first win of the season for the Cadets (1-5, 1-0 NCC) after they began the campaign with a grueling stretch against larger schools. WCHS (4-6, 1-1 NCC) suffered its first setback inside the league.

Lynx head coach Jess Howard liked the fight she saw from her team when it had its back against the wall, but it was ultimately errors at net and behind the service line that led to the downfall.

“The girls did a great job in games three and four of coming back and controlling things,” Howard said. “But we’ve got to work on coming out strong and staying focused right away.”

WCHS piled up a whopping 33 errors from its attackers and seven more miscues from the service line. The Lynx slapped 55 kills.

Olivia Myers, a senior middle hitter, was the most consistent and dominant force at net for the Lynx, as she registered 16 kills and a .270 hitting percentage. Taylor Schnathorst also cranked out 16 kills and Kamry Dawson, just a sophomore, came off the bench to contribute nine kills. Dawson made just two errors in 17 chances and was particularly strong in the middle three sets.

“She’s going to be a very good presence for us at net the rest of this year and in future years,” Howard said of Dawson. “When she gets behind the ball she does a good job of scoring points for us.”

IF-A led throughout the opening set, but had to rally in the second stanza to jump ahead 2-0. WCHS led 11-5 before the Cadets scored nine of the next 10 points to seize command.

It was the Lynx turn to control play in the third set and again in the fourth. Myers laced five of her kills in the third and four more in the fourth. It’s not a coincidence that when she gets in a groove, so does the team.

“When she’s feeling it we’ve got to get the ball in her hands,” Howard said.

WCHS led by as many as seven points in the fourth set before IF-A began to creep back into contention. But a slam down the line off the arm of Schnathorst sent it to the tiebreaker.

WCHS held the lead for the last time at 3-2 in the fifth set. The Cadets eventually pushed ahead 12-6 and were never challenged. Grace Renaud ended the battle with a hard shot down the line.

Sarah Vogelbacher led the Lynx setters with 26 assists, and Courtney Lampman added 21.

Libero Gianna Gourley collected 20 digs in a losing effort, two more than Schnathorst. Halle Mason added 10 and Rihanna Wood finished with nine.

WCHS will look to get back on track Saturday when it hosts the Lynx Invite on Saturday. Also in the round-robin field will be Southeast Valley, Clarion-Goldfield-Dows and Clarke.