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Your Prep Sports
NORTH LIBERTY – Liberty High had momentum, energy and a suddenly lively home crowd on its side following a 25-21 second-set win over second-ranked Dubuque Wahlert.
The Eagles had junior Aliyah Carter on their side and that proved to be enough for Wahlert to hold off tenth-ranked Liberty High.
Carter had 17 of her match-high 30 kills in the final two sets to lift Wahlert to a 25-18, 21-25, 25-18, 25-11 win over Liberty High in a top-10 MVC Valley Division tilt in North Liberty.
“She’s up there with any kid we’ve had here, she’s a stud,” Wahlert coach Lindsey Beaves said of Carter. “She’s a great kid too so it makes it easy to coach her.”
Carter closed the third set with three consecutive kills and had two during a 9-0 Eagle run to start the fourth as Wahlert improved to 10-4 on the season and 4-0 in MVC play.
Liberty High got 15 kills from LeeAnn Potter and 11 from freshman Sydney Woods but couldn’t overcome slow starts in each of the final two sets.
The Lightning dropped to 6-6 on the season and 1-3 in MVC play with its second consecutive conference loss.
“I think we’ve got 12 matches in right now and in probably 50 percent of our matches in some point in each match we are getting down seven or eight to nothing,” Liberty High coach Randy Dolson said. “We are young and we have to be able to work on that but we have to able to hold ourselves accountable a little bit out on the court and we are struggling with that.”
Wahlert never trailed while taking the opening set 25-18.
The Eagles appeared poised to take control of the match in the second set building a 14-11 lead but Liberty High rallied.
Four consecutive ace serves by sophomore Addie Schmeier capped a 6-point Liberty High run that gave the Lightning a 17-14 lead they would never give up.
“We really struggled that second set with serving a tough ball and getting out of serve receive,” Beaves said. “They served really aggressive and we didn’t respond well.”
A Carter kill cut the lead to 17-15 but Liberty High responded by scoring seven of the next nine points to take an insurmountable 24-17 lead.
Four different Liberty High had players during the late 7-2 run and freshman Gabbie Schroeder capped the 25-21 win with a kill.
The final two sets were all Eagles.
Wahlert took a quick 5-2 lead in the third set and while Liberty High pulled even the Lightning could never get over the hump.
The Eagles used a 4-0 run to pull away and closed the match with three consecutive kills by Carter who had 10 kills in the set.
“We tried a little different blocking scheme and just kind of overloaded her side when she was in the front row and it bite us sometimes,” Dolson said. “You are going to get her sometimes but she is going to get you a lot.”
Wahlert took the drama out of the fourth set early with a 15-1 burst that featured four Liberty High errors.
“When we are having fun and playing loose, we are clicking, things are going right we are feeling good and playing volleyball when things aren’t going well and we dig that hole our faces go down and we just bury ourselves into our own little hole,” Dolson said. “That’s what we are talking about is how can we hold ourselves accountable to not let that happen and we will get better.”
Carter had six of her seven fourth-set kills during the 15-1 barrage to open the set but had help late.
Senior Carolyn Conlon had four of her 12 kills in the fourth set and Madeline McCarron and Molly McDonald each added a kill in the final set.
“We couldn’t pass in the second set and we couldn’t run middles and that’s huge for us,” Beaves said. “When she had a double block in the third and fourth our middles did a good job and our passers really stepped up and did a good job.”
Addie Schmeier 0-5-0, Lauren Roman 6-0-2, Olivia Slattery 1-0-0, Sydney Woods 11-0-0, LeeAnn Potter 15-2-1, Hailey Hested 2-1-0, Sam Harvey 3-0-0, Gabbie Schroeder 1-0-0, Jordan Stammeyer 2-0-0, Kaylee Berns 1-2-0, Team 42-10-3.
Assists – Hailey Hested 29
Aliyah Carter 30-04, Emma Duehr 2-0-0, Molly McDonald 3-3-0, Madeline McCarron 2-0-0, Carolyn Conlon 12-0-2, Grace Lueken 4-4-1, Lauryn Montgomery 0-2-0, Team 53-9-7.
Assists – Lauryn Montgomery 28
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