Lynx denied 3rd straight NCC comeback win

WEBSTER CITY – A third comeback victory was probably too much to ask for.

The composure and physical stamina the Webster City volleyball team showed in rallying for five-set North Central Conference victories over Fort Dodge St. Edmond and Clear Lake in recent weeks simply wasn’t available last night inside the WCHS gymnasium.

The strong play of its opponent may have had something to do with it as well.

Algona was a little quicker to the ball and utilized a relentless defense to turn back Webster City in four sets, 25-18, 25-18, 26-28, 25-16. The win propelled the Bulldogs (17-16, 4-3 NCC) into a share of third place in the league with the Lynx (14-10, 4-3 NCC).

With sometimes as many as four freshmen on the floor, Algona seized control with its blocking at net and digging ability in the back row. It caused frustration on the WCHS side of the net and led to 32 attack errors.

“Defensively they were very sound both at the net and in the back row,” WCHS head coach Jess Howard said. “We had some solid hits that they got a hand on and were able to play out of it.

“Our hitters have got to do a better job of hitting around the block and I’ve got to do a better job of preparing them to play a team like that.”

WCHS hit just .067 as a team. Taylor Schnathorst led the way with 14 kills and Olivia Myers added 12.

Algona raced out to sizable leads in each of the first two sets and never really allowed WCHS into contention.

With their backs against the wall, the Lynx showed some resolve in the third set. They took the lead at 9-8 on a kill by Myers – their first advantage since 2-1 in the opening set – then traded points throughout the rest of the stanza.

Algona fought off two set points and then eventually got it to match point, but a Schnathorst blast from the outside knotted it at 25. Schnathorst eventually put the set away and forced the match to go on with a back row slam that hit the back line.

But unlike how it fought back from a 2-0 deficit against St. Edmond and out of a 2-1 hole against Clear Lake, WCHS was unable to keep the momentum. Algona took control for good at 9-8 and added to its margin the rest of the way.

“This is the type of match that we’ve got to learn from and let it help us for the postseason,” Howard said. “We’ve got to work on cutting down those runs and not letting teams get five or six points in a row on us.”

On the night she was recognized for piling up 1,000 career digs, Lynx libero Gianna Gourley added to her total with a match-high 36. Schnathorst registered 23 digs and Halle Mason contributed 16.

Courtney Lampman distributed 17 assists and also put down four kills on quick hitters. Sarah Vogelbacher handed out 18 assists.