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Lynx start postseason trek at home against Boone in Class 4A Region 3 quarterfinal

Winner advances to face No. 4 W-SR next Tuesday night

WCHS senior middle attacker Adalie Schwandt (14) laces a kill against Iowa Falls-Alden earlier this month. She leads the Lynx in kills with 227 entering tonight’s Class 4A Region 3 quarterfinal against Boone. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

WEBSTER CITY — A tough end to the regular season wasn’t what the Webster City volleyball team had in mind, but there is a possible upside.

The Lynx dropped five of their final six matches, but facing a swath of ranked teams should help to toughen the team as it gets set to open up the postseason this evening.

WCHS (18-16) will be favored to advance to the Class 4A Region 3 semifinals when it hosts Boone (2-30) in a quarterfinal at 7 p.m. The winner will take on fourth-ranked Waverly-Shell Rock (44-6) in the semifinals next Tuesday evening.

The Toreadors enter the postseason with 24 shutout losses, but Lynx head coach Jess Howard says that doesn’t matter. In truth, everything that happened during the regular season is irrelevant.

“It’s a brand new season and it doesn’t matter what you’ve done up until now,” she said. “Now we have to make the most of every single opportunity when we step on the court.

WCHS setter Jenna Miller tosses the ball into the air during a match this season. She has 280 assists on the season entering tonight’s Class 4A Region 3 quarterfinal match against Boone. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

“We had a tough last half of the season, but we’ve gone against a lot of tough teams and the girls showed that they could compete with them and did some really good things. That’s only going to prepare us for what we’ll see down the road hopefully.”

Boone has struggled with its offense all fall, signified by a .007 kill efficiency. Katie Winter has a team-high 121 kills, but only one other Toreador — Emily Ades with 106 kills — has reached triple digits.

WCHS counters will a solid defense, particularly in the back with sophomore libero Alayna Finucan, the 4A leader in digs with 485. She needs just 25 more to become only the fourth Lynx player to reach 1,000 in her career.

“They have hitters that are going to put the ball in play and they’re going to make the ball roll off the net, so we have to be on our toes,” Howard said. “We have to be very sound defensively and make sure we give ourselves an opportunity to attack the ball.”

WCHS hits .120 as a team and is led by senior middle attacker Adalie Schwandt. She has blasted 227 kills this season and hits .208. Fellow senior Grace Hoversten is a weapon in the middle as well with 194 kills, while Morgan Gallentine (131) and Haley Foster (101) provide support on the outside.

Gallentine has a team-high 348 assists, while Jenna Miller checks in with 280 when Gallentine shifts over to the perimeter.

Boone has its own defensive star in Kinsie Zinnel, No. 3 in the class in digs and only five behind Finucan with 480.

WCHS has had more than a week to prepare for the postseason and Howard thinks her team is focused in for what awaits.

“The girls have been coming to practice every night and working hard and not getting bored with it,” she said. “We’ve done a lot of scrimmaging to keep in that game mindset.”

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