NCC opener a marathon, Bulldogs fend off Lynx in 5

ALGONA — In the dark of night, the Webster City volleyball team made a long, lonely and quiet drive home last night.

There was plenty of time to think about what might have been.

Leaving everything they had on the volleyball court, the Lynx matched Algona point for point for the better part of 21⁄2 hours in the North Central Conference opener for both teams. The Bulldogs (2-3, 1-0 NCC) gained the upper hand every so slightly in the fifth and final set to pull out the marathon, 25-20, 22-25, 25-19, 24-26, 16-14.

The final race to 15 was a highly-competitive back-and-forth battle that Lynx head coach Jess Howard said never allowed either team to pull away.

“We’re two evenly matched teams in terms of what we have offensively and defensively, and we could play 10 different times and the outcome is going to be different,” she said. “We got them out of system and that’s when we were able to come out on top, but then they were able to do the same thing to us.

“It’s something that we have to learn from and we’ve got to have a short memory because we come right back on Saturday.”

Adalie Schwandt, a senior middle hitter, was the go-to girl in both the front and back rows for the Lynx (6-2, 0-1 NCC), who dropped their second consecutive match. She crushed 19 kills against just four errors on 51 swings to go along with 18 digs and five blocks.

“She did a great job in the front row and back row of swinging at the ball with power,” Howard said of Schwandt. “She made the most of every ball she had given to her.”

Grace Hoversten pitched in eight kills and five blocks, while Haley Foster added six kills and 19 digs. Morgan Gallentine served as the team’s top setter with 21 assists, and she also delivered five kills.

Lynx libero Alayna Finucan collected a match-high 27 digs.

Algona 3, Webster City 2

Thursday at Algona

Attacks — Adalie Schwandt 47-51, 19 kills; Grace Hoversten 25-33, 8 kills; Haley Foster 16-26, 6 kills; Morgan Gallentine 14-21, 5 kills; Faith Anderson 14-16, 3 kills; Reese Casey 3-6, 1 kill; Alayna Finucan 3-4.

Blocks — Schwandt 5, Hoversten 5.

Digs — Finucan 27, Gallentine 20, Foster 19, Schwandt 18, Jenna Miller 3, Leah Kasch 3, Casey 3, Hoversten 1, Anderson 1.

Assists — Gallentine 21, Miller 14, Finucan 7.

Serving — Gallentine 23-23, 1 ace; Miller 20-20; Foster 20-23; Schwandt 13-13; Finucan 12-13; Kasch 11-12.