|Lady Cats win Homecoming against Wau-Pa|
By Christy Sheets
The Wallace Wildcats competed in the Wallace Triangular on Tuesday, Sept. 28.
The Cat’s first opponent was the Brady Eagles. The scrappy Eagles took the first set, but the determined Cats battled back to win the next two and the match, 22-25, 25-22, and 25-18.
From the start, any spectator could see this was going to be a battle, as both teams took turns scoring points. Neither team gained more than a one-point lead, until the Cats were able to pull ahead by two on a kill by senior Whitney Smith at 19 to 17.
This, unfortunately, set fire to the Brady team, as they fought back with a three point scoring run to take the lead 20 to 19, and force the Wildcat bench to call a time out. The time out didn’t slow the Eagle momentum, as they scored three more points and forced the Cats to take a second time out.
This time a well-placed block from junior Brooke Hochstetler seemed to breath life back into the Cats, who continued to grab the next point after a great deal of hustle by the entire team.
Brimming with hope the Cats seemed to be mounting a come back, unfortunately, the hole they had dug was a little too deep, and the Eagles scored the next two points on Wildcat mistakes to win the set 22 to 25.
The second set started out much like the first, with the teams tied at six, but the Eagles once again started to build momentum with a four-point lead at seven to 11.
This time, however, the Lady Cats stepped up early to meet the challenge. Seniors Shanice Harris and MaKayla Gardner rallied their team with a stunning kill and some nicely placed tips, to tie the set once again at 11.
The Eagles regained their fight and continued to trade points with the Cats, but a three-point service run by Harris gave the Cats a cushion late in the set at 21 to 19. The Eagles tried to rally, but the Cats, sensing blood in the water, ended the set with a resounding kill from senior Whitney Smith, 25 to 22.
The third set saw a very determined Wildcat team. Unlike the two previous sets the Lady Cats struck first and struck hard. Senior Laura O’Brien, assisted by the entire team, put together an eight-point service run (two aces) to give the Cats an eight to zero lead.
The Eagles tried repeatedly to rally, but the much more relaxed Cat team slowly built an insurmountable lead. The Lady Cats played tough, and in the end the Eagles wound up short. The Cats won the third set and the match, 25 to 18.
When asked for a comment, Coach Strand said, “Brady is a good team with great defense, and this was an important win for us.”
Leading the team offensively against the Tigers was O’Brien with 15 points (two aces). Hild had seven points, Harris had five points (one ace), Gardner had four points (one ace), Kerchal had three points, and Smith had one point. Leading the team with set assists was Hild with 18, followed by O’Brien with 12, Harris with two, and Gardner with one.
Defensively, Smith led the team with 15 kills, followed closely by Gardner with 11 kills and one block. Harris had five kills and two blocks, Hochstetler had three kills and one block, and Hild had one kill.
Wallace vs. Maywood
The Lady Cats then had to face the Maywood Tigers. The cats won this match in straight sets 25-8 and 25-17.
In striking contrast to the first match, the Cats were ready for the Tigers, taking the early lead on a five-point service run by Harris, followed by back to back four-point service runs by Hild and Smith to bring the score to 21 to six.
The Tigers made every effort to fight back, but the Cats dominated the first set 25 to eight.
The second set saw a livelier Tiger team. They rallied to lead the second set four to five, but the Cats weren’t ready to relinquish the set just yet. Both teams rallied and tried to build momentum, but it was the Cats that finally broke the set open on a six-point service run by Harris, 21 to 16.
The Tigers worked hard to make something happen, but a strategic block by sophomore Chelsea Sowle, followed by an ace from Gardner, gave the Cats the set and the match, 25-17.
Leading the team offensively against Maywood was Harris with 11 points (five aces), followed by Gardner with eight points (three aces). Hild had six points, Smith had five points (one ace), O’Brien had three points (one ace), and sophomore Anna Griffiths had two points.
Leading the team with set assists was O’Brien with 11, followed by Hild with 10, and junior Emily Hasenauer and Griffiths each with one.
Defensively, Smith led the team with nine kills, followed by Gardner with six kills and one block. Harris had five kills, Hochstetler had three kills and one block, freshman Sara Hubbard had two kills, and Sowle had one block.
Wallace vs. Wa/Pa
On Friday night, the Wildcats got a second chance to face the Broncos of Wauneta-Palisade. The first time the Wildcats played the Broncos this season was at the Paxton tournament, which the Lady Cats went on to win.
The Wallace Lady Wildcats defeated the Wauneta-Palisade Broncos in Wallace in straight sets 25-22, 25-17, and 25-15.
In the first set the Lady Cats took the early lead, 11 to six. The gym was abuzz with excitement, but the Broncos battled back, to tie the Cats, first at 11, then at 20, forcing Coach Rohde to call a timeout to refocus the Cats.
The Cats played hard, but the Broncos seemed to dig up everything. Senior Shanice Harris stepped up with a well-placed tip to end a rather nerve racking set, 25 to 22.
In the second set, Wallace once again got off to an early lead, 12 to six. The Broncos tried to battle back, but the Cats refused to relinquish the lead. The Cats played tough defense, and closed the set, 25 to 17.
In the third set, determined to set the tone, the Cats took the early lead, seven to three. The Broncos battled back to within one, eight to seven. The Cats pulled away again, this time strengthening their lead by 12, 21 to nine. The Broncos attempted to rally, but the now confident Cats refused to let the ball drop. Senior Whitney Smith put the exclamation point on the match with an awe-inspiring kill to end the set, 25 to 15.
When asked about the game, Coach Rhode said, “We passed the ball really well tonight.” He added, “The girls played some good defense, and we won against a talented team.”
Offensively, Harris led the team with 16 points (five aces), followed by O’Brien (one ace) and Kerchal who each had seven points. Hild (one ace) and Smith each had four points, and Gardner had one point.
Leading the team with set assists was Hild with 13, followed by O’Brien with 11, Hasenauer with three, and Harris with one.
Leading the cats defensively Friday night was Smith with 10 kills and two blocks, followed closely by Gardner with nine kills and one block. Harris had four kills, and Hochstetler had one kill and three blocks.
The Junior Varsity Cats played on Monday, Oct. 4 in Grant.
On Thursday, Oct. 7, the Cats will host South Platte, and on Friday, Oct. 8, the Lady Cats will travel to Hayes Center.