Okoboji 25-25-20-19-24, Spirit Lake 20-20-25-25-22 – Evenly matched
SPIRIT LAKE – Spirit Lake had two match points and staved off seven match points, but Okoboji finally prevailed on the eighth match point to win in five games in the first round of Class 2A volleyball on Tuesday.
After winning the first two games, 25-20, 25-20, the Pioneers were looking for the sweep, but the Indians came back to take the next two 25-20, 25-19.
In the fifth and deciding game, the Indians best chance came leading 13-11, but Okoboji scored the next three points for their first match-point opportunity.
Spirit Lake wasn’t done yet scoring the next two points with an ace serve by Kori Heidebrink giving the Indians match point at 15-14.
The Indians again had match point at 16-15, but a service error followed by an Okoboji ace serve returned the advantage to the Pioneers, 17-16.
The two teams exchanged points until Miley Hunziker and Landi Hunziker came up with consecutive kills at 24-22.
Okoboji and Spirit Lake had split two regular meetings this season. Also, the Indians were 3-2 in five-game matches in 2008 entering Tuesday’s donnybrook.
Spirit Lake started quickly in game one, taking a 9-3 lead. Okoboji kept battling and until catch up at 19-19 and then outscored the Indians 6-1 to take game one. The Indians struggled at the service line with seven errors in the first game.
The Pioneers led a majority of game three with Spirit Lake getting as close as 20-18 after a kill by Ashley Colwell. But Okoboji again ended with a 5-2 run.
“It all came back to the basics,” said Spirit Lake coach Kolette Delperdang. “We’ve struggled all year with the serve and the pass.”
In game three, Spirit Lake wasn’t ready to end its season yet as the Indians took the lead.
Sara Martinson closed out the win with the final two Spirit Lake points.
Game four followed a similar pattern with the Indians holding on to a small edge.
But at 21-19, the Indians closed out the game with four straight points on a kill by Amber Kirschbaum, two tough serves by Kori Heidebrink and a kill by Chelsie Stettnichs.
“The girls were able to regroup and wen knew after Saturday (when they won the Storm Lake Tournament), that they could do it,” said Delperdang.
Kirschbaum led the Spirit Lake attack with 27 kills and six blocks. Kylie Stoll had 17 digs and received 21 serves.
Heidebrink served 21 times.
Spirit Lake (16-13) says farewell to five seniors: Sara Hummel, Andrea Bakker, Ashley Colwell, Kylie Stoll and Amber Kirschbaum.