Blocking, service aces key in Lynx fourth straight victory

ALGONA – One of its best blocking nights of the season and a string of service aces helped to propel the Webster City volleyball team to its four consecutive victory here Monday night.

The Lynx (13-9) produced 14 blocks and 12 aces in a 3-1 non-conference victory over Bishop Garrigan, 25-19, 23-25, 25-20, 25-17.

Head coach Jess Howard was pleased overall with her team, but said service errors, eight in all, need to be cleaned up prior to the start of the postseason later this month.

“The majority of the time we played well,” Howard said. “We had a lot of aggressive ace serves, but we had more missed serves than I’d like to see, especially at this point in the season.”

Halle Mason, Taylor Schnathorst and Courtney Lampman all rifled off three aces, and Cynthia Whitehill tallied two against the Golden Bears (13-15), who dropped their second straight decision.

WCHS hit .142 as a team with 25 attack errors in 134 chances. Kamry Dawson was the most efficient hitter at .294; she blasted seven kills. Taylor Schnathorst laced a match-high 16 kills and Olivia Myers finished with 10

Courtney Lampman handed out 21 of the Lynx assists, while Sarah Vogelbacher finished with 17.

But it was the blocking, particularly late in the tight sets, that made the difference. Myers collected five snuffs, Dawson finished with four, Cassidy Nerland added three and Devyn VanKooten came up with two.

“Towards the ends of the games are when we got a lot of touches on the ball,” Howard said. “Anytime you can halt their offense with a block, even if they pop it back up, it makes you second-guess yourself as a hitter.”

In the back row, libero Gianna Gourley registered a team-best 16 digs. Schnathorst (nine), Whitehill (eight), Vogelbacher (seven) and Rihanna Wood (seven) were all solid contributors as well.

WCHS will return to North Central Conference play on Thursday with a road trip to Clear Lake.

Postseason pairings

WCHS will open up Class 4A Region 1 play with a quarterfinal match at home against Storm Lake (2-15) on Wednesday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. The winner will advance to face Boone (11-18) back in Webster City in a regional semifinal on Tuesday, Oct. 25.

The other side of the Region 1 bracket includes LeMars (10-9), Spencer (4-17) and fifth-ranked Sioux City Heelan (20-6).

The regional final will be held on Monday, Oct. 31, and will be hosted by the highest remaining seeded team.

From the region, WCHS has faced only Boone this season. The Lynx knocked off the Toreadors, 2-1, at the Forest City Invite last month.