By Steve Peterson
Akron-Westfield’s volleyball team shrugged off a First Set loss and responded with a 3-1 win the rest of the way in a four-set victory against arch-rival West Sioux in War Eagle Conference play Oct. 8 away.
The Lady Westerners lost the First Set to the Lady Falcons, 25-18. A-W then won the next three sets, 25-23, 25-22 and 25-13.
A-W improved to an 8-8 record, 3-4 WEC.
West Sioux slipped to 10-11 overall and 3-3 record in the WEC.
It was “Taking Care of Business” night in the Hawarden gym with many Falcons’ faithful dressed in business attire and the Lady Falcons were sent into the match from a “tunnel” of dozens of classmates.
A-W had the answer this night as senior Bethany Eastman had 11 kills, junior Kortney Hedlund was right behind with nine; junior Cali Westergard had six; and senior Sarah Schroeder contributed five as did senior Kayla Tindall. A-W had 38 kills total and five total blocks.
“It’s a big win for us against our rival. Kortney Hedlund and Bethany Eastman had great nights,” said A-W co-coach Inglish Hartwig.
Serving helped with 10 aces by A-W, led by senior Dana Hedlund’s six.
“We wanted to have more aces than serving errors,” said Hartwig.
WS came out well in the First Set jumping to an 9-3 lead. A-W rallied for an 11-11 tie. WS reopened a five-point lead, 17-12, including a Carly Dekkers kill and an ace by Rylee Negaard. A-W regained a tie at 17-17 but the Lady Falcons closed with an 8-1 run to win the First Set.
A-W had the early lead in the Second Set at 8-5 with Tindall serving but the Lady Falcons cut the lead to one point. Then A-W took control as Dana Hedlund had an ace sending them to a 14-10 lead. WS took a one point lead but A-W gained a 20-20 tie on a kill by Kortney Hedlund. Dana Hedlund brought the visitors to within set point at 24-22 but the Lady Falcons gained one point before A-W finished with a 25-23 win.
A-W jumped to a 9-5 lead in the Third Set but the night continued to be “no lead is safe.” Jenna Rehder’s serving run gained a 13-13 tie for the Lady Falcons.
It was back-and-forth and tied at 21-21. A-W scored four of the last five points to win the set on sheer determination for a 2-1 lead. Dana Hedlund had a key kill for a two-point lead at 23-21 A-W.
A-W led 10-6 as it took command in the Fourth Set and maintained a comfortable cushion.
West Sioux Statistics
West Sioux Coach Laura Hensley said the match with A-W is always an emotional one.
“We had the best start of the season that First Set. The Second and Third Sets were an all-out battle for both teams. It was a tough match, and both teams fought hard. Negaard and Shannon Jasper led in kills. Our back row did a fantastic job with Calena Topete leading in digs with 18 and Callie Schmidt and Negaard each had 15 digs. Amanda Mace had nine digs and did a great job on serve receive. Rehder had a good match with 26 assists and 10 digs,” said Hensley.
Other West Sioux statistics included Schmidt had four kills, Dekkers three and Rehder one. Allyson Westra had six digs; Jasper had four and Dekkers two. Dekkers had four solo blocks and Jasper had two. For aces Dekkers had three, Schmidt, Negaard and Rehder had two each, and Westra had one.
Eastman had 11 kills and two digs.
Jordan Hansen had 18 digs and 11-of-11 serving.
Ann Hedlund had six digs and 15-of-16 serving with two aces.
Dana Hedlund had two kills, 33 assists, five digs, and 23-of-36 serving with one ace.
Kortney Hedlund had nine kills, seven digs, and 13-of-15 serving with six aces.
Desi Oltmanns had eight digs.
Schroeder had five kills, two digs, four total blocks, and 10-of-11 serving with one ace.
Westergard had six kills.
It was a sweep for the Lady Westerners who also won “C” and Junior Varsity matches.
However, the Falcons fans reminded the visitors of a certain recent football result (a 56-32 West Sioux win over A-W).
On last Thursday, A-W beat Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn, 3-1. West Sioux lost to Gehlen Catholic 3-0 in War Eagle Conference play.