BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
MEDIAPOLIS – It took 30 points to avoid a tiebreaker third set, but Holy Trinity Catholic was able to find that point Thursday night on a Taylor Boeding kill to give Holy Trinity a two-set win over Fort Madison 25-19, 30-28.
The win came as part of three-match quadrangular at Mediapolis Thursday night where the Lady Crusaders and the Bloodhounds both swept their first matches of the night and faced each other in the second round of the round-robin event with Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont and Mediapolis.
In the matchup of the cross-town rivals, Holy Trinity never trailed in the first set, going up by as much as 13-3 behind seven straight service points from senior Emily Box. Five of those points were on Bloodhound errors. But FMHS would rebound and go on a 6-2 run to close the gap to 15-9. Senior Jassmine Bass had a block and senior Kaeli Hutson had a kill from the left side, followed by an ace from junior Gracie Pumphrey. Pumphrey missed on her next serve and Boeding missed serving the side out. HTC senior Eryn Anderson got a kill in the next point, then missed in the next rally to cut the lead to six.
Holy Trinity would stretch the lead to 11 at 21-10, but the Hounds would fight back with a 7-1 run, cutting the lead to just five at 22-17 forcing a timeout by Head Coach Melissa Freesmeier after FMHS senior Josie Pumphrey served up an ace.
Out of the break, Box got a kill to swing the momentum and Fort Madison had a kill go long before Boeding got a kill to end the game 25-19.
Game two was a back-and-forth affair with Fort Madison jumping out to a 2-0 lead. Holy Trinity would tie it at 2 when FMHS junior Jillian Wiseman’s kill went deep. Box would get two more points for the Crusaders after the sideout with a kill and a block in back-to-back points to give HTC a 4-2 lead. Fort Madison responded with a 4-0 run taking the lead at 5-4 on a Braxtyn McGhghy ace. Boeding had a kill go wide to give the Bloodhounds a 6-4 lead.
HTC scored on the next point on a defensive error by Fort Madison, but not before Josie Pumphrey picked up a rocket attack from Box to try to keep the Hounds in the point. Boeding would score on a kill in the next point from her left outside hitter post to tie it up at six. Fort Madison would then get a four-point cushion at 13-9 forcing Freesmeier to take another time out on the heels of two straight kills from Jassmine Bass.
The Crusaders would score out of the timeout on a kill, but Fort Madison would put three straight on a Bass kill and two missed attempts at the net from HTC, giving the Hounds a 17-11 advantage. Anderson would find the floor with two kills to cut it to 17-13, but then Wiseman would take her turn at the net with a block and a kill in consecutive points to make it 19-14 Fort Madison.
The two teams traded sideouts for the next six points, but a kill from Hutson extended the Hounds’ lead to 22-17. Holy Trinity would then put together the one run they needed to get back in the match, outscoring the Bloodhounds 8-3 to knot the score at 25-all. In the run, the Bloodhounds had five errors, including a rare foot-fault on a Gracie Pumphrey serve. The Crusaders had a block and a kill from Anderson in the run.
Wiseman and Box would then go high-octane at the center of the net with Wiseman getting the first shot. Box would counter with a kill on the next point and Wiseman would return fire on the next point to give Fort Madison a 27-26 lead. Box would counter at the center of the net on a blast to the right side of the floor to tie it back at 27. HTC’s Mya Lawlor would throw an ace for a 28-27 lead but then misplace the following serve on the short side of things to tie it back at 28-all.
In the next point, Josie Pumphrey had to take the third hit over with a bump from the left middle floor that sailed long. HTC sophomore Bailey Hellweg served at 29-28 and after a short rally, Boeding’s attack went off the hands of the Fort Madison defense and landed softly along the Hounds right boundary for the win.
“Holy Trinity was a tough back-and-forth match. We missed a serve when we had game point along with a hitting error, or we could have won the second game and taken it to a third. It was a good hard-fought match,” said FMHS Head Coach Kent Bailey.
Fort Madison downed Mediapolis 25-21, 25-21 in their first match of the night, and then knocked off Eddyville in the last match of the night 25-17, 25-11. Bailey said the Hounds were able to sub liberally and gave all the girls a chance to see action.
“It was a good tournament to end the regular season,” he said. “We played three good opponents and that should help us as we prepare for regionals. Our kids are getting back in sync after a tough two week span in which we lost some tough matches.”
Josie and Gracie Pumphrey led the Bloodhounds from the service line with Josie going 24-28 with seven aces and Gracie hitting 20-23 with six aces. Josie was also tops in digs with 32. Lauren Bailey had 49 assists and Wiseman led the Hounds at the net going 36-42 with 21 kills and five blocks on the night.
The Crusaders won 25-16, 25-17 over Eddyville and cruised to a 25-16, 25-15 win over the Bulldogs in the final match of the night.
Box went 51-56 hitting on the night with 23 kills and nine blocks. She also lead HTC from the service line going 36-38 with seven aces. Mya Lawlor and Elyse Pothitakis combined for 56 digs on the night to lead the Crusaders defensively. Freshman Kassi Randolph and Hellweg combined for 55 assists. Anderson was 36-39 attacking with 17 kills.