Lynx show flashes, not enough to beat Algona

Webster City setter Morgan Gallentine (6) tosses the ball high into the air for attacker Haley Foster (9) during last night’s match against Algona. The Bulldogs claimed the NCC contest in three sets.  DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

WEBSTER CITY — Jess Howard elected to go with the optimistic approach following her Webster City volleyball team’s North Central Conference opener last night inside the WCHS gymnasium.

Sure, she could be frustrated, but the flashes of greatness are what she took away from the Lynx 3-0 loss to Algona.

“You can be frustrated, but there were also glimpses of hope that we’re getting better,” Howard, the WCHS head coach, said after Algona disposed of the Lynx 25-18, 26-24, 25-23. “We had very strong finishes, but we waited until it was 18-12 or 19-14 before we decided to go after them. So if we can get that consistency, we’re capable of doing a lot of great things.”

Algona (2-3, 1-0 NCC) kept WCHS (3-5, 0-1 NCC) at bay with a balanced offense that included a bevy of back-row attacks. The Bulldogs controlled the opening set, notched the final two points of the second set to prevail and then wrapped up the sweep with a late charge.

The Lynx finished with 22 kills, but struggled to finish points quickly. They also made 18 attack errors and hit just .045 as a team.

WCHS senior Zoey Woodle bumps the ball up to a teammate against Algona last night in Webster City. Algona won, 3-0. DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

Adalie Schwandt drew the bulk of the defense, but still managed to smack nine kills to lead the way. Grace Hoversten was solid up front with six kills and she also collected a team-high four blocks.

“(Schwandt) had a triple block a lot of the time when she was hitting, so it took a little while to figure out how to hit around it,” Howard said. “Grace was consistent for us. (Defensively) she got her hands on a lot of balls that slowed it down for our defense.”

Kamry Dawson added five kills for the Lynx. Cynthia Whitehill and Morgan Gallentine distributed 10 assists each.

In the back row, libero Alayna Finucan continued to provide a steady hand with a team-high 16 digs. Atlanta Hopp came off the bench and was a spark with 10 digs, two more than Zoey Woodle.

“(Hopp) did a good job of reading the hitters,” Howard said. “They attacked a lot from the back row, but she did a good job of popping them up.”

WCHS could meet Algona again on Saturday when the Bulldogs host their annual tournament. The Lynx first match is scheduled for 10 a.m.

Algona 3, Webster City 0

Thursday at Webster City

Attacks — Adalie Schwandt 24-29, 9 kills; Kamry Dawson 17-21, 5 kills; Grace Hoversten 14-16, 6 kills; Haley Foster 5-6; Zoey Woodle 9-14, 2 kills; Morgan Gallentine 2-3.

Blocks — Hoversten 4, Foster 2.

Digs — Atlanta Hopp 10, Cynthia Whitehill 4, Schwandt 4, Dawson 3, Hoversten 3, Foster 1, Woodle 8, Alayna Finucan 16, Gallentine 1.

Assists — Whitehill 10, Finucan 1, Gallentine 10.

Serving — Hopp 17-17, 1 ace; Whitehill 12-13, 2 aces; Schwandt 5-6; Woodle 12-12; Finucan 6-7; Gallentine 11-12, 1 ace.