The Alpena High volleyball team hosted Petoskey on Wednesday and was swept by the Northmen despite playing well for stretches.
Petoskey defeated Alpena 25-12, 25-19 and 25-17.
Alpena coach Melissa Doubek commented on her team's struggle.
News Photo by Eric Benac
Alpena’s Emma Strong (11) hits the ball over the net while Mikaela Overton (3) Ali Sherwin (9) and Taylor Genschaw back her up during a volleyball match at Alpena High School. Alpena lost to Petoskey in three games on Wednesday.
"In the first game we started too slow and then for the rest of the match we had some spotty good attacks and adjustments that didn't build up," she said.
Petoskey's Kelsey Ance started the match with three straight serves for points. Petoskey continued to build up its lead as Alpena answered back sporadically. Megan Tompkins proved to be a strong threat with three serves while Liz Frazer served for four straight points. By the time Alpena ended Frazer's streak, the Wildcats trailed 15-5.
Alpena struggled to hit back Tompkins' spikes, but kept up a solid fight . Unfortunately for Alpena, it was unable to build up a strong enough rally to overcome its early deficit and lost 25-12.
Alpena played stronger in the second game and the Wildcats stayed neck-and-neck with Petoskey underneath the serves of Ami Milligan, Carley Hoeksema and Taylor Genschaw.
Milligan led the team in assists with 26 while Genschaw had four kills and eight digs.
After 11 game points, Alpena trailed 6-5. Petoskey answered back with a six-point scoring streak including five serves from Tompkins. A brief Brenna Bourdage rally scored a few points for Alpena, but the Wildcats still trailed.
Bourdage had 11 kills on the night.
Petoskey won the second game 25-19 in the closest final score of the night.
The third game was the closest, in spite of Petoskey earning a quick 7-1 lead during the serves of Alyssa VanWerden. Strong defensive play and aggressive spikes by Emma Strong and Bourdage helped keep the Wildcats in the game and brought the game to a tight 10-9.
Strong had seven kills for the match.
Scoring went back-and-fourth for the next several points, keeping the game very tight. A three-point scoring streak by Tompkins and a two-point streak by Frazer brought the game to 23-17. The Wildcats continued to focus hard on the ball and played well, but it simply couldn't overcome the deficit and lost 25-17 to end the match.
Mikaela Overton added 10 digs for Alpena and Alie Sherwin had nine.
Doubek had good things to say about her team.
"They had some great digs and attacked very well at points. They worked really hard the whole match," she said.
Alpena plays in districts against Traverse City West on Tuesday in Gaylord.