By Christy Sheets
The Wallace Wildcats competed in the Wallace Triangular on Tuesday, Sept. 29. The Cats first opponent was the Maywood Tigers. The Wildcats took down the Tigers in straight sets, 25-4 and 25-15.
The Wildcats were primed and ready to defend their home court, winning the first set handily, 25 to 4. The Tigers made some good plays in the next set, but errors seemed to rob any momentum, and the Wildcats took the second set 25 to 15.
Leading the team offensively against the Tigers was senior Jena Aylward with 12 points (1 ace), followed by junior Katelynn Hild with 9 points (2 aces), and junior Shanice Harris with 8 points (1 ace). Junior Laura O’Brien had 4 points (2 aces), and senior Katie West had 3 points (1 ace). Leading the team with set assists was Hild with 8, followed by O’Brien with 5.
Defensively, West led the team with 5 kills and 1 block, followed closely by junior Whitney Smith with 4 kills, and Aylward with 3 kills and 1 block. Harris had 1 kill.
The Lady Cats then had to face the Brady Eagles. The cats won this match in straight sets 25-17 and 25-22.
The Cats were ready for the Eagles, but the Eagles would not go quietly into the night.
In the first set the Cat struck first, leading the Eagles 6 to 2 on a 4-point service run made by Katie West. Harris quickly took her turn at serve, extending the Cats lead to 16 to 3, stringing together an eight point run.
The Eagles battled back to 22 to 16, forcing the Cats’ coaching staff to call a time out. The Cats hit the court determined to close, and on a well placed tip from Whitney Smith, the Cats won the first set, 25 to 17.
In the second set the Eagles were determined to hold the Cats in check, taking an early lead 6 to 10. The Wildcats were frustrated, as a string of mishit/misplaced balls plagued the momentum of the Lady Cats.
The Cats battled, and it was Harris’ serve that once again gave the Cats the lead 17 to 15. West extended this lead 19 to 16, but the Eagles fought back to within one. The Cats fought a good fight, with senior Tarassa Swedberg getting the Cats a couple of needed set points at 24 to 21. West stepped up with a well-placed tip to close the match 25 to 22.
Leading the team offensively against Brady was Harris with 9 points, followed closely by West with 7 points (1 ace), and Aylward with 6 points (1 ace). Hild had 3 points, O’Brien had 2 points, and Swedberg had 1 point. Leading the team with set assists was O’Brien with 11, followed by Hild with 8, and Aylward with 1.
Defensively, Smith led the team with 9 kills, followed by West (3 blocks) and Aylward (1 block) each with 6 kills. Harris had 2 kills and 1 block, and Hild had 1 kill.
Wallace vs Paxton
On Friday night, the Wildcats got a second chance to face rival Paxton Tigers. The girls and the coaching staff were primed and ready to challenge the only team to sully their perfect record this season, and challenge them they did. The Wallace Lady Wildcats defeated the Paxton Tigers in Wallace in straight sets 25-17, 25-22, and 25-20.
In the first set the Lady Cats took the early lead, 10 to 3. Paxton had a few good plays, but any spectator could sense the determination of the Lady Cats, as they pushed the score to 23 to 11. The gym was abuzz with excitement, but the Tigers battled back, holding the Cats 24 to 17. Senior Katie West stepped up with a well-placed kill to place an exclamation point on the set, 25 to 17.
In the second set, it was Paxton that got off to the early lead 7 to 11, forcing Coach Rohde to call a time out to refocus the Cats. Senior Tarassa Swedberg helped turn the tide, cutting the Tigers lead to just two. Following Swedberg’s lead, junior Katelynn Hild had a key service run to give the Cats their first lead of the set, 19 to 17.
The Cats fought, and never relinquished the lead, closing the set 25 to 22.
As the girls prepared for set three, coached Rohde rallied his team saying, “Two battles down, but the war is yet to be won.”
In the third set, determined to set the tone, the Cats took the early lead, 5 to 2 on a 4 point service run of Laura O’Brien. The Tigers battled back to tie the Cats at 10.
The Cats pulled away again, but the Tigers weren’t willing to let the Cats have the lead for long, tying once again at fifteen, and then nineteen. At 22 to 19 the Tiger’s coaches decided to take a time out, and as the Cats returned to the court Coach Rohde said, “Let’s finish the war.”
Energized, the Cats refused to let anything drop, and a brilliant tip by senior Katie West, sent Rohde flying to his feet with praise for his team, 23 to 20.
Senior, Jena Aylward hammered the ball to the floor, to bring the Cats’ victory to within one and to bring the crowd to their feet. The final point once again fell upon Aylward’s shoulders, and she pounded a well placed kill to the opponent’s side of the court. The gym erupted, reminiscent of Memorial Stadium.
When asked about the game, Coach Rohde said, “We played to our potential!” He added, “Everyone played well.”
Offensively, O’Brien led the team with 11 points, followed closely by Hild who scored 9 points (1 ace). Aylward scored 5 points, West scored 4 points, and Swedberg and Harris (1 ace) each scored 3 points. Leading the team with set assists was Hild with 21, followed by O’Brien with 17, and Aylward with 1.
Leading the Cats defensively Friday night was Smith with 14 kills and 3 blocks, followed by West with 11 kills and 3 blocks, and Aylward with 10 kills. Harris had 7 kills, and Hild had 1 kill.
The Junior Varsity Cats played on Monday, Oct. 5 in Grant. On Thursday, Oct. 8, the Cats will travel to play South Platte, and on Friday, Oct. 9, the Lady Cats will travel to Harrisburg to play Banner County.