Lynx take momentum into 4A regional opener

WCHS?faces Mason City team it beat 2-0 earlier this month

Webster City blockers Clara Klein (left) and Adalie Schwandt (14) work for a point against Algona Bishop Garrigan on Oct. 2. The Lynx will travel to Mason City this evening to take on the Mohawks in a Class 4A Region 5 quarterfinal. Play will begin at 7 p.m. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

WEBSTER CITY — The season and careers of four seniors will be on the line this evening when the Webster City volleyball team travels to Mason City to open up regional play.

The Lynx (8-25) will take on Mason City (2-25) in a Class 4A Region 5 quarterfinal in the Mohawks’ gymnasium at 7 p.m. The winner will advance to next Tuesday’s regional semifinal against 11th-ranked Charles City (24-14) in Charles City.

The top half of the Region 5 bracket features a quarterfinal between Decorah (12-20) and Waterloo East (5-27). The winner will have the unenviable task of trying to take down fifth-ranked Waverly-Shell Rock (40-5) next Tuesday.

The regional final will take place on Monday, Oct. 30, on the home floor of the highest remaining ranked team.

The regular season wasn’t always roses and rainbows for WCHS, but head coach Jess Howard’s team found its rhythm late. The Lynx won five of their final nine matches, including a 3-1 win over a then ranked (1A) Algona Bishop Garrigan squad and a 2-0 victory over Mason City on Oct. 7 at the Forest City Invite.

WCHS setter Cynthia Whitehill (10) puts the ball up as teammate Clara Klein looks on during a match this season. Whitehill enters the postseason with 237 assists. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

WCHS dumped the Mohawks by matching scores of 21-19.

Mason City, meanwhile, enters the postseason stuck in a 17-match losing skid. It hasn’t tasted victory since a 2-0 win over Clear Lake way back on Sept. 7.

Both teams have fought through inconsistent play, particularly in the front row. WCHS hits just .103 as a team, while Mason City has struggled to a .021 kill efficiency. The Mohawks have just three players with positive hitting percentages, led by Grace Tobin (.084), the team’s only player with more than 100 kills. She will take the floor this evening with 174.

WCHS will counter with a balanced front row that features four players with more than 100 kills. Middle hitters Kamry Dawson and Adalie Schwandt lead the way with 164 and 139. On the perimeter, Cassidy Nerland and Halle Mason have blasted 135 and 107, respectively.

Only a sophomore, Schwandt has turned into a go-to girl for the Lynx, as her .224 kill efficiency is the best on the team. She belted six kills in the earlier victory over Mason City.

WCHS has piled up 237 more kills than Mason City on the season, 631-394.

Defensively, Mason and libero Zoey Woodle have been the back row catalysts for the Lynx. Mason owns a team-best 272 digs, while Woodle has 236.

WCHS setters Sarah Vogelbacher (346) and Cynthia Whitehill (237) have combined to distribute 583 assists.