Lynx spikers start slow, warm up to beat Gaels in 4 sets

FORT DODGE – The start might not have been a lot of fun, but the way it ended was just fine for the Webster City volleyball team here last night.

After spotting Fort Dodge St. Edmond a rather easy Set 1 victory, the Lynx found their form and responded by taking the next three to claim the North Central Conference match, 3-1.

“Not only me, but the girls were frustrated after that first set,” WCHS head coach Jess Howard said following the 11-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-21 win. “We let one server control the game and they built too big of a lead for us to come back. But we got some momentum at the end of that game and it carried over.”

WCHS (3-1, 1-0 NCC) broke an 18-18 tie in the second set by scoring four of the next five points to gain the upper hand for good.

The Lynx came out swinging in the third set and surged to an early 8-2 advantage. They increased the cushion to 16-6 before St. Edmond (7-3, 0-1 NCC) rallied to within striking distance to make it closer than anyone in purple and gold wanted.

The rivals swapped the lead in the fourth set. WCHS climbed ahead 13-9, followed by a Gaels’ rush that put them a point in front, 18-17. Again, the Lynx had the answer with a 4-1 run that St. Edmond was unable to answer.

“(The Gaels) are a very sound team and they’ve had some good matches so far this year. They came to win against us, but the girls did a great job in those last three sets,” Howard said. “They did a good job of keeping their composure and didn’t let that one game determine the outcome of the match.”

Senior middle hitter Hannah Myers and senior outside hitter Molly Gilbert both bashed 15 kills for the Lynx. Myers and sophomore setter Taylor Schnathorst (40 assists) found a rhythm with quick sets, as Myers walked off the floor with an impressive .462 kill efficiency.

“The middle is a hard position to play and she’s stepped up to the challenge,” Howard said of Myers. “She’s worked hard so she can move quickly and transition … she did a good job of keeping her feet moving.”

Mikaleh McCoy added five kills and Alex Dinsdale connected for three.

Libero Gianna Gourley was solid in the back row during the long points and piled up 23 digs. Gilbert (13) and Carly Jacobson (10) also reached double digits.

Myers produced four of the Lynx five service aces.

WCHS will enter tournament play for the first time this season on Saturday at the Algona Invitational. Howard’s club will open pool play against North Union at 9 a.m.