Finished in five
A slow start for Estherville Lincoln Central turned into a marathon match against Cherokee on Monday night.
But after losing the first game, the Midgettes regrouped to take the second and third games before dropping the fourth.
An early 4-0 run to start the deciding fifth game proved to be the difference as ELC won its second Lakes Conference game, 21-25, 25-20, 25-17, 18-25, 15-9.
“We’ve got to get over these first-game doldrums-the coach is starting to lose more hair,” said ELC coach Tyler Johnson. “It’s like we come out and try to figure out how hard we have to play. If we can get over that, we can have some success at the end of the season.”
The first game was memorable only in that the Midgettes nearly erased a 10-point deficit, getting within 24-21 before Cherokee closed out the first game.
In game two, the two teams were deadlocked at 15-15 until two Brave hitting errors and a double block by Alyssa Johnson and Morgan Schichtl put ELC up 18-15.
Cherokee cut the deficit two one, but that was followed by kills from Allie Sievert and Alyssa Johnson. A Brave hitting error put ELC up 22-18.
Kaylene Vos came up with a solo block at the net to get to 23. Kelsie McCauley found an open spot on the floor on a tip to get to 24. On game point, Mallory Bradley dove for a short ball that McCauley sent over and the Braves couldn’t return.
In game three, several Cherokee errors helped ELc build an 11-3 lead. After a timeout the Braves rattle off five straight points, but ELC came back with four straight.
Cherokee never got closer than six points the rest of the way and one of their hitting errors ended the third game.
“Once we start passing better, our offense if fine,” said Johnson.
In game four, the Braves broke a 10-10 tie and took a 17-11 run. Behind the serving of Ashley Weston, the Midgettes rattled off five straight points helped by three Cherokee hitting errors and a Sievert kill.
ELC was able to tie the match at 18-18 on a kill by Maggie Haugen, but the breaks suddenly went all Cherokee’s way as they ended on a 7-0 run.
In the fifth game, hwne Vos’ serve hit the net and fell on the Braves’ side for an ace, the momentum seemed to swing back in ELC’s favor.
The Midgettes held on to a four-point lead most of the match. McCauley scored two of the final three points for ELC with a match-ending smash down the middle.
She ended the night with 18 kills and 17 digs. Sievert had nine kills and two blocks while Johnson had seven kills and six blocks. Haugen also had seven kills as Vos had 35 set assists.
Also, Sadie Winter had seven digs.
ELC improves to 7-10 overall and 2-4 in the Lakes Conference.
“This should solidify us in sixth place,” said Johnson.
Emmetsburg and Cherokee are both winless and play each other next week. ELC ends the conference schedule next week at Storm Lake.
The Midgettes travel to the North Iowa Tournament in Buffalo Center on Saturday.
“If we play like we’re capable, we have a chance at being successful there,” said Johnson.