ARMSTRONG - Having lost to Estherville Lincoln Central in five games a year ago, North Union was looking to sweep the Midgets in three games Thursday evening.
When Warrior senior Jeanette Govern landed wrong during warm-ups may have seemed like an omen, her teammates stepped up and won 25-15, 25-14, 25-22 over ELC.
The win was needed for North Union after a 1-5 record at the Algona Tournament the previous weekend and 0-3 record at a quadrangular meet in Spencer on Tuesday.
ELC’s Joslyn Moore (16) sets up her teammates as Maddy Burns (7) and Lauren Moeller (14) prepare to attack in Thursday’s match in Armstrong.
Photo by David Swartz
But the early games may have proved the difference as ELC's team features several new faces and the Midgets (0-3) were playing just their third match of the season.
"It seems like it takes us a while to warm up," said ELC coach Carly Marx. "We tried a new libero rotation also and there was some confusion, but I think we got it by the end of the night."
North Union (5-11) was happy to get back in the win column.
"Losing Jeanette, we had to switch the lineup around, but we made the adjustments," said North Union coach Hilary Menke. "I thought we served excellent and our defense stepped up. We're doing what we need to at this time of year."
North Union jumped out to an 11-3 lead in the first game. ELC twice got within five points, the last time on an ace serve by Rylee Miller at 16-11.
But the Warriors finished with a 9-4 run ending including the final three points and ending the first game on an ace serve by Sarah Rolling.
ELC stayed closer through the first half of the second match and trailed 15-13 after one of Megan Jensen's 17 kills on the night. But North Union pulled away helped by several ELC errors, completing the second game on 10-1 run.
The Midgets played their best game of the night in the third game. But after taking an 11-6 lead, ELC watched North Union rally with a 7-0 run, which ended on a kill by Rolling.
A seesaw battled ensued and ELC appeared to take control when they broke a 17-17 tie with a 3-0 run that included a kill by Jensen, a North Union hitting error and a block by Caitlyn Clayton.
The Warriors rallied one more time through with six straight points that included three ELC hitting errors and an in-the net-call.
ELC's last point came on a solo block by Alicia Jorgenson that made the score 24-22. But a then Madison Bollig rolled the ball into the empty middle of the ELC defense for match point.
Clayton finished with six kills and two blocks while Joslyn Moore had 11 set assists. Jensen and Katie Gruhlke also each had an ace serve.
For North Union, Emily Hagebock led the way with eight kills, Rolling had seven and Bollig had five.
Hagebock had six ace services, Autumn Boland had four and Aurora Oliver had three. Rolling finished with 15 digs, Jordan Guerdet had 11 and Ashley Olson had nine.
Morgan Rahm had 13 set assists and Oliver had 11. Bollig had five blocks and Rolling and Hagebock each had two.
Both North Union and ELC are at the Spirit Lake Tournament today.
The Warriors are at West Bend on Tuesday and Everly on Thursday.