St. Edmond feasts on Lynx mistakes in 3-set win
Dawson laces 10 kills, Mason puts up nine in losing effort
WEBSTER CITY — The frustration could be heard in Jess Howard’s voice as it changed octaves with each timeout she was forced to call last night inside the WCHS Gymnasium.
Hustle. Communication. Drive. They were all words that escaped her mouth both during the match and the minutes after the Webster City volleyball team succumbed to a 3-0 loss to Fort Dodge St. Edmond, 25-15, 27-25, 25-16.
A difficult season and a losing skid that reached 12 consecutive matches last night has taken a toll on everyone.
“If we choose to attack, we’re a tough team to go up against,” Howard, the Lynx head coach, said. “But it’s consistency, it’s focus, it’s desire, it’s drive; it’s got to be 100 percent all the time. When we are playing with those things, it’s fun to watch. But we’ve got to decide to do it every single second, every single minute of the (match).”
WCHS (3-20, 1-4 NCC) showed flashes of the team Howard knows it can be. In the second set, the Lynx rallied from an early five-point deficit to eventually take the lead. Twice they had St. Edmond (14-11, 2-3 NCC) on the ropes with a set point, but were unable to seal the deal.
“That second game was huge in terms of momentum,” Howard said. “If we get that set in one of those rallies, maybe that could have changed the complete momentum. You never know, but it could have been a little more uplifting going into the third game.”
But at other times, WCHS struggled, particularly with its serve reception. Balls ricocheted off arms to all parts of the gym and those out of system moments gave the Gaels an advantage at net.
Howard says the serve receive issues that have plagued her team throughout the season come down to mentally wanting the ball.
“It’s the desire to get after it and to win,” she said. “They’ve got to want it. When they have that desire to really want to, and hopefully it’s before the end of the season, they are going to be a very fun team to watch.”
St. Edmond seized command early in the match with a quick 6-0 run that forced the Lynx to try to dig out of the hole. WCHS closed to within 11-9, only to watch the Gaels rattle off seven of the next eight points to put a chokehold on the opening set.
Halle Mason and Kamry Dawson both laced four kills to keep WCHS in the second set. There were 13 ties and four lead changes in the stanza.
Mason’s fourth kill of the set from the left side gave the Lynx a 25-24 advantage and their second set point. But St. Edmond was able to tie it up and then take the lead on a Devyn Scott tip kill. At 26-25 and following a long rally, the Gaels’ Josie Huss put it down from the middle of the floor to give her team the 2-0 lead.
Dawson continued to hammer away from the middle of the court in the third set. Her five kills kept WCHS close early, but eventually the same serve receive errors came back to haunt the Lynx. A pair of aces by St. Edmond’s Livi Huss gave her team a 12-7 lead, and just a few points later it was Josie Huss’s turn to sprinkle in two aces to up the cushion to 18-11. Hannah Schaeffer blasted a kill to finish off a 7-0 run that put the set out of reach.
St. Edmond peeled off nine aces on the night, four coming from Josie Huss.
WCHS hit .184 as a team with 34 kills against 18 errors at net. Dawson finished with a team-high 10 kills, while Mason registered nine. Cassidy Nerland ripped seven, three of them coming in the first set, and Adalie Schwandt added five.
“Kamry did a great job of being a force at the net and hitting the ball down,” Howard said. “If we can have six hitters with that mentality all the way through the game, it’s going to be hard to defend.”
Sarah Vogelbacher and Cynthia Whitehill distributed 17 and 14 assists, respectively.
Schwandt also collected three blocks, all of them in the second set. Whitehill came up with nine digs, Zoey Woodle contributed seven, and Mason, Nerland and Vogelbacher all finished with six.
St. Edmond’s Hannah Huss led all hitters with 18 kills. Erin Flattery finished with six for the winners.
WCHS will attempt to get back on track on Saturday when it takes part in the Madrid Invitational.
St. Edmond 3, Webster City 0
Thursday at Webster City
Attacks — Kamry Dawson 13-17, 10 kills; Halle Mason 18-21, 9 kills; Cassidy Nerland 9-16, 7 kills; Adalie Schwandt 19-22, 5 kills; Stacey Meyer 8-9, 2 kills; Cynthia Whitehill 2-2, 1 kill.
Blocks — Schwandt 3, Meyer 2, Nerland 1.
Digs — Whitehill 9, Zoey Woodle 7, Nerland 6, Mason 6, Sarah Vogelbacher 6, Schwandt 3, Clara Klein 2.
Assists — Vogelbacher 17, Whitehill 14, Nerland 2, Mason 1.
Serving — Schwandt 11-11, 1 ace; Whitehill 10-10, 1 ace; Nerland 12-13, 1 ace; Woodle 9-9, 1 ace; Vogelbacher 8-8; Mason 5-6.