The Alpena volleyball team dropped a match against Ogemaw Heights on Monday in spite of a come-from-behind win in the third set and a near win in the fourth set.
The Falcons won 25-21, 25-13, 18-25, 25-23.
"I was disappointed with the lack of intensity on the digs and moving our feet to the ball. We did have some good attacks and in a lot of the game but we didn't play as well as we should have," Alpena coach Melissa Doubek said.
News Photo by Eric Benac
Alexis Smith (2) digs deep to pass to Emma Strong (11) in an Alpena varsity volleyball matchup against Ogemaw Heights. Ogemaw beat Alpena in four sets.
After winning in the third set, the Wildcats played their tightest set in the final set. A win in the fourth would force a 2-2 tie and a tie breaking fifth game.
Ogemaw started with a 3-2 lead, but the Wildcats began answering back during the serves of Alexis Smith and Taylor Genschaw to take an 8-5 lead.
Genschaw had 18 kills in the match while Smith had 27 assists.
The Falcons then scored 10 points out of the next 13 to take a 15-10 lead. It held onto a five point lead all the way up to 20-15.
The Wildcats answered back with eight points out of the next 12 to narrow the lead to 24-23.
Genschaw served and after several back-and-forth plays, Ogemaw's Bri Mairose knocked the ball just out of reach of the Wildcats to take the win, 25-23.
In the third set, Alpena took a quick 3-1 lead during the serves of Logan Myers. The Falcons fought back with the attacks of Mairose, whose big spikes pulled the Falcons ahead 9-7.
Myers picked up 14 kills.
Both teams stayed close until a 18-18 tie. Players like Mikaela Overton and Olivia Cordes made several plays to keep key volleys alive for Alpena.
Overton had 17 digs on the night while Cordes had 17 assists.
Alpena took control of the rest of the set, picking up seven points in a row during the serves of Jordan Modrzynski to win 25-18.
The Falcons struggled to keep spikes from flying out of bounds and lost points to the tips players like Ellie Wedge and Emma Strong.
Strong had nine kills while Wedge and Modrzynski had three.
By comparison, Alpena struggled in the first two sets. The first started with a 4-4 tie. Alpena then scored five points in a row to take a 9-4 lead.
Alpena had an 11-9 lead when the Falcons' Kennedy Beechum served to force a 12-12 tie.
The set stayed close, with Alpena fighting to a 21-21 tie after trailing 21-17, but the Falcons scored the next four points for the win.
Alpena faced its worst loss in the second set. The Falcons took an 8-3 lead as their defense seemed to answer back nearly every Alpena attack.
Genschaw continued to rack up kills in the second set, while Brianna Clark, playing in her first varsity game, picked up a few points of her own. The Falcons pulled ahead to take the set 25-13.
Clark had two kills.
Although Alpena were able to bounce back from a 2-0 deficit to win the third set, they came up just short in the fourth.
"(In the third set) they were moving their feet a little bit more to the ball. We needed that more consistently throughout the match and we just didn't have it," Doubek said.
Alpena plays at Traverse City Central on Wednesday.
The Alpena junior varsity volleyball team won in three sets 25-18, 27-25 and 25-9. The freshman team also won three sets 25-18, 25-18 and 28-26. Kaitlyn Schultz picked up 10 aces while Katie Mack had five kills.