WACO maneuvers tricky Mepo gameWarriors drop to 12-14 with a chance for bounce-back win vs. Winfield-Mt. Union
WAYLAND — The WACO volleyball team is fresh off pushing New London and Winfield-Mt. Union to three sets in the New London volleyball tournament Saturday.
Tuesday’s game against Mediapolis presented a trap game for WACO.
It had momentum with a third-place finish and a rivalry rematch against Winfield-Mt. Union on Thursday.
Mediapolis may have taken away some of that energy WACO had, but the Warriors didn’t go down without a fight in a 3-0 loss.
“We took this as a learning experience,” said WACO head coach Jay Coble. “We wanted to keep coming off a New London tournament where we thought we were the second-best team. We didn’t want to get depressed after a loss today.”
The first game was the biggest margin for Mediapolis after a 10-4 start. WACO got no closer than six the rest of the way in a 25-12 loss.
“We just couldn’t bounce back quick enough,” said senior Rosemary Skriver. “We dug ourselves a hole.”
Skriver and juniors Aaliyah Brown and Erika Leichty led the team with five kills each. Skriver led the team with 11 digs and Leichty had eight digs.
The Warriors trailed by one at 10-9 in the second set before an 8-2 spurt from Mediapolis killed off the game with a 25-14 win.
“We’re the kind of team that it’s on, then it’s off,” Skriver said. “We need to work on getting consistent.”
In the final game WACO refused to lie down by taking a 4-2 lead. Mediapolis used a 7-0 run to go ahead for good.
“I think both of those runs were off the same reception group that we are going to try to get straightened out,” Coble said.
WACO lost the third set 25-15.
“We know that Mepo is a tough team,” Skriver said. “We are going to take that lead and not take it for granted. We had it and held it. We knew it was going to be tough from the beginning. We enjoyed having the lead.”
Even when facing a 2-0 deficit, WACO played as good as it could.
“I don’t think we ever quit all night long,” Coble said. “We kept fighting through it. I thought we competed. There was never fear in our face.”
Every year Mepo puts out a quality team including last year as state semifinalists.
About the only thing the two schools share is the Southeast Iowa Superconference. Mepo is a 3A school, while WACO is a 1A team.
“They had 60 girls out for volleyball; we may have 80 girls at the school,” Coble said.
According to Coble, Mepo hasn’t lost a conference match since 2007.
Mepo had a strong serving night with 13 aces on 68-of-71 serves.
“Our coaches serve a lot harder than that in practice,” Skriver said. “We should have been able to handle them; we got in our heads. We played better, but our passing wasn’t as good, so we couldn’t play off it. We need to get out of our rotations that we had trouble serving receiving.”
WACO did show better than it did in last year’s Mepo matchup.
“I thought we played very well,” Coble said. “Last year we scored a total of 10 points. This year we scored 41.”
Katelyn White had a busy night at the libero spot, but was effective with six digs.
“I thought she played well,” Coble said. “She had the toughest job because they could hit line. We haven’t seen very many teams that can go line. She had to bounce back and forth.”
Senior Ashlyn Hammen had a team-high 11 assists. Hammen had five digs.
She was the top server going 10-for-10, and she had one ace. Overall, WACO hit 40-for-42 on serves.
WACO travels to Winfield, Thursday for a 7:30 p.m. start.
“Winfield is our main big rival,” Skriver said. “That is the main one we would like to win.”
Winfield edged WACO 2-1 this past weekend.
“This is the beauty of playing these guys,” Coble said. “Winfield is not as good as this group. This group is bigger, taller and runs a faster offense. This is perfect prep for Winfield.”