Meeting their goals

Offense carries Alpena in win over Ogemaw Heights

News Photo by James Andersen Alpena’s Allie DeRocher (3) attempts to block a hit from Ogemaw Heights junior Faith Ignasiak during a volleyball match at Alpena High School on Monday.

The Alpena High volleyball team entered Monday’s game against Ogemaw Heights with a goal of working on its offense.

The Wildcats made good on their goal, getting their offense clicking in a four-set victory over the Falcons at Alpena High School. Alpena won 25-12, 10-25, 25-17 and 25-12.

Aside from an uneven second set, the Wildcats controlled play most of the night and pulled away from the Falcons with continuous offensive scoring spurts.

“We had a tournament last weekend and we worked hard on running offenses,” Alpena coach Stacey McEwen said. “That was a goal tonight, to continue working on running our offenses.”

Alpena pulled away from Ogemaw early in the first set, pulling to a 10-5 lead which grew to 14-6 and later 20-7 before winning the set. The Wildcats did a solid job of putting balls in spots that kept the Falcons’ defense off balance and scored points in five and six-point bunches Ogemaw couldn’t match.

The Wildcats also did a good job spreading the workload on offense. McEwen praised the leadership of junior setter Alison Precord, but Edie Zann, Jaime Modrzynski, Emma Dockrill and Allie DeRocher were among those who scored multiple points for Alpena.

Precord had 31 assists, seven digs and five aces. DeRocher had 10 kills, Zann had nine and Alexis Pilarski had 13 digs.

“In the first set, I thought she had some good digs, good serves and she was all over the place,” McEwen said of Precord. “She was definitely giving 100 percent tonight.”

The momentum Alpena gained from a win in the first set was quickly dropped in the second set as the Wildcats struggled to get anything going. Ogemaw raced out to a 15-4 lead, taking advantage of several Alpena attacking errors and aces from several players to build a lead. Alpena scored points on consecutive volleys just twice.

“In the second set, we couldn’t stop the bleeding,” McEwen said.

The Wildcats rebounded in the third set and eventually pulled away with a six point burst that gave them an 18-10 lead. Ogemaw rallied late to make it 20-16, but Alpena closed the set by scoring the last five points with Modrzynski earning a kill for the last point.

Alpena kept pushing ahead into the fourth set, starting out on a 5-0 run and eventually building a 13-1 lead. It was more than enough to carry Alpena to an overall victory as Ogemaw couldn’t recover from the early deficit.

With Traverse City West coming in on Wednesday, McEwen is hopeful the Wildcats can continue clicking on offense against an always challenging West squad.

“The big thing is we’re getting more blocking from the front row, which should help against the big hitters from West,” McEwen said. “We’re running offenses better and hopefully we’ll be able to catch them off guard.”

Alpena’s JV team defeated Ogemaw 25-17, 25-14, 20-25. Jade Gray had seven kills for the Wildcats and Kate Skiba had 14 assists.