BY JOHN BOHNENKAMP
WEST BURLINGTON — There were stretches when Holy Trinity’s volleyball team would make a run at West Burlington in Tuesday’s SEI Superconference South Division match.
But the Falcons always seemed to have an answer.
Holy Trinity’s 25-22, 25-20, 25-23 loss to West Burlington was another lesson for the Crusaders as the postseason draws near.
Holy Trinity, ranked No. 5 in Class 1A, constantly challenged the No. 9 (Class 3A) Falcons, but could never get enough momentum to finish them off.
“I thought we did some great things tonight,” Holy Trinity coach Melissa Freesmeier said. “West Burlington has a quality ball club, and we knew coming in here it would be tough. But we had too many errors. That’s the key right there. We’re going to have errors, but we have to eliminate some of that while staying aggressive.”
West Burlington (26-2) used five-point bursts in the first and second games, and a seven-point run in the third game, to take control each time.
“We had that slow start again tonight, and against good teams you can’t have that,” Freesmeier said. “It seemed like we would come back and have a stretch, and they would have an answer for us.”
There were times when the Crusaders (19-5) left too many gaps in the defense, and the Falcons would exploit them.
“I think we just lost focus on where the ball was, and we were just scrambling,” Freesmeier said. “If it’s going to be wacky out there, you’ve got to talk to your teammates, make things happen.”
Still, the Crusaders battled. They got to within 24-22 in the first game, 23-20 in the second game, and fought off two match points in the third game.
“That’s a positive for us,” Freesmeier said.
Mary Kate Bendlage led Holy Trinity with 10 kills, while Brooke Mueller had nine. Kassi Randolph had 15 assists and Natalie Randolph had 14. Anna Sobczak had 23 digs, while Teagan Snaadt had 11. Kayla Box had four blocks.
“We can learn from this and move on,” Freesmeier said. “We have a lot of games left, and there are goals left to accomplish.”
Mary Kate Bendlage 10, Brooke Mueller 9, Natalie Randolph 6, Kassi Randolph 4, Kayla Box 4, Teagan Denning 1.
Kassi Randolph 15, Natalie Randolph 14, Anna Sobczak 2.
Brooke Mueller 13-14 (1 ace), Anna Sobczak 12-12, Teagan Denning 12-13 (3 aces), Kassi Randolph 10-10, Natalie Randolph 7-8, Alexa Dingman 4-4, Mary Kate Bendlage 2-4, Laura Mehmert 1-3 (1 ace).
Anna Sobczak 23, Teagan Snaadt 11, Teagan Denning 8, Kassi Randolph 7, Natalie Randolph 6, Mary Kate Bendlage 6.
Kayla Box 4, Natalie Randolph 2, Mary Kate Bendlage 1, Kassi Randolph 1, Teagan Denning 1.