ALBURNETT — If the first set did not give it away, the second sure did.
Nothing was going to come easy during Thursday’s Tri-Rivers Conference match between the Calamus-Wheatland and Alburnett volleyball teams.
The Warriors took the opening set, but just by the minimum two points.
The next set was also decided by just two, but this time it was the Pirates who took the marathon game by a 30-28 margin.
The two teams were neck-and-neck again in the third set before Alburnett won close again, 25-22, and this time rode that momentum through the fourth set to finish off a 23-25, 30-28, 25-22, 25-16 victory.
The Cal-Wheat defense did not give an inch, coming up with 65 digs — compared to 40 for the Pirates — including 11 apiece from Alyssa McElmeel, Olivia Ganzer and Alison Boeckmann. Taylor Jacobsen and Kahlie Hill both had eight digs, while Addy Widel and Alexis Clark each had five.
McElmeel complemented her strong defensive effort by putting down a team-high seven kills. Widel was right behind her with six, while Anne Tully had four. Boeckmann assisted on 12 of the kills, while Jacobsen added five.
Both Isabel Shockey and Hill had blocks, while Jacobsen served up two of the team’s four aces (Tulley and Clark provided the other aces).
The Warriors faced off with Alburnett on the heels of a tournament visit to the Midland Invitational.
Cal-Wheat swept Morning Star Academy, but fell to the hosts, Central City and Lone Tree at the tourney.
The Warriors overpowered Morning Star, putting down 15 kills in a 21-14, 21-9 win.
Eight different players had kills in the win, including three apiece from Widel, Tulley and Emily Boeckmann. A. Boeckmann and Jacobsen, meanwhile, both had five assists.
McElmeel and Ganzer paced Cal-Wheat with four digs apiece and the team served up nine aces, a combined five from Ganzer and Jacobsen.
The Warriors nearly had a second victory as they went to a third-and-deciding set with Lone Tree before the Tigers prevailed.
Widel accounted for over half (eight) of the team’s 15 kills with A. Boeckmann and Jacobsen again doling out five assists apiece. Ganzer came up with a team-high nine digs, while A. Boeckmann served up five aces.
The Warriors picked up contribution from multiple players against Midland — nine different Warriors came up with digs, while six either had an assist or kill — and received another strong performance from Widel (four kills and two digs) against Central City.