14th-ranked Lynx settle for split with NP, Ballard

ALLEMAN – One service error is enough to draw the ire of Webster City head volleyball coach Jess Howard. Six? That’s just downright irritating.

It’s probably not a coincidence those six free points allowed were all that separated the 14th-ranked (Class 4A) Lynx and North Polk here Tuesday night, as the Comets gained the upper-hand in a 2-0 victory, 25-21 and 26-24.

WCHS (1-1) bounced back with a 2-0 dismantling of Ballard, 25-15 and 25-8, to salvage a split in its first outing of the season. North Polk (6-2) also blanked the Bombers (1-4), 2-0.

“We had way too many missed opportunities and we gave (North Polk) way too many points. We’ve got to get a lot more consistent behind the (service) line,” Howard said. “We did a lot of good things and a lot of things we need to work on. There’s always room for improvement and that’s why we have practice.”

The Lynx built early leads in both sets against the Comets, only to lose the momentum late. Howard says her players lost a little of their edge down the stretch.

“Focus is an area that we need to work on quite a bit,” she said.

That focus was there against the Bombers, as the Lynx blasted 22 kills. Molly Gilbert slammed nine, Alex Dinsdale added five, Hannah Myers four and Mikaleh McCoy three.

The same four were the net catalysts against North Polk. Gilbert hammered six, Myers and Dinsdale both laced three and McCoy had two.

WCHS put up a .215 kill efficiency in the two matches with 37 kills.

“They were aggressive at net for us and made the most of the sets they got,” Howard said of her four hitters. “They were able to hit the ball hard and place the ball well.”

Sophomore Taylor Schnathorst orchestrated the Lynx 5-1 offense from the setter spot and she doled out 33 assists, including 21 against Ballard.

Libero Gianna Gourley collected 18 digs and Gilbert chipped in 10.

Myers, one of the state’s leaders in solo blocks a season ago, was again on point. She had 6 1/2 snuffs against the Comets, including five solo blocks.

WCHS will open up North Central Conference play on Thursday at Fort Dodge St. Edmond.