No. 13 Lynx spikers smack North Polk, Ballard

WEBSTER CITY – The No. 13-ranked (Class 4A) Webster City volleyball team may have let North Polk and Ballard hang around last night, but the Lynx proved they can be closers as they opened their 2013 season with a pair of 2-0 victories inside the WCHS gymnasium.

Webster City (2-0) swept North Polk, 25-20 and 25-21, took a brief hiatus and then returning to the court to steamroll Ballard, 25-19 and 25-15.

“We’re still working on tweaking a few things, so I think a couple of (sets) were probably closer than they needed to be, but we had control of the matches the entire time,” WCHS head coach Jess Howard said. “We came out on top in both matches, so that was good.”

The Lynx relied on veteran heavy hitter Kaylee Schnathorst against North Polk (5-3), as the senior walloped nine kills in 21 swings on the outside. Molly Gilbert slapped three, while Morgan Gourley and Hannah Myers both put down two.

There was more balance at net in the rout of the Bombers (0-4). Schnathorst, Myers and McCoy all hammered four kills, and the Lynx trimmed their attack errors down to eight. McCoy made the most of all four of her chances.

“We did a good job of mixing it up against Ballard and keeping it quick, not giving those high lofty sets that give the middle blocker time to get over,” Howard said. “Mikaleh McCoy did a good job of seeing the open spots.”

Setters Ashley Price, a senior, and Gianna Gourley, a freshman, distributed 25 and 16 assists, respectively, in the two matches. Schnathorst and Morgan Gourley piled up 12 digs each.

Taylor Schnathorst gave the Lynx a second freshman on the floor at times.

“The younger girls did a great job of keeping their composure and not getting rattled,” Howard said. “They went with their instincts a lot and that gave them a lot of success.”

WCHS delivered 10 service aces on the night. Price led the way with five.

The Lynx will travel north on Saturday to take part in the Algona Invitational. WCHS and No. 9-ranked (3A) Algona will meet in the opening round of pool play at 9 a.m.