Alpena volleyball falls to Gaylord in Big North Conference tilt
ALPENA — The Alpena High varsity volleyball team suffered another tough defeat on Thursday.
Up to this point, the Wildcats have not won a conference game this year. A loss to Gaylord in a 3-0 sweep did not help the Wildcats’ case on Thursday.
“We have to be better. We’re dealing with a big injury that has completely changed our rotation, and it’s always tough to deal with an injured player, especially a senior,” Alpena coach Kolby Andrews. “We’ve got a super tough matchup against Cadillac next week, and we have to get off to a good start in order to stand a chance.”
Alpena started the first set in a hole, which was a considerable downfall all night.
The Wildcats hung in the match with the Blue Devils until a 5-0 run occurred. Gaylord, now with a 13-6 lead and all of the momentum, forced Alpena to call a timeout to try and make a comeback.
Alpena could return points and even went on a 4-0 run of its own, but it was too late for the Wildcats. The final score of the first set ended in a 17-25 final.
The second set started with Alpena stealing the first point, but quickly falling behind.
Gaylord’s 10-5 lead allowed it to play more aggressively and accumulate several hard-hit kills. The Blue Devils maintained that five-point lead all the way until the end when Gaylord took home the seven-point win in an 18-25 final.
Going into the third set, it was a win-or-go-home scenario for the Wildcats.
Alpena played its best set of the day, returning nearly every point the Blue Devils scored. The Wildcats tied Gaylord at several points throughout the set, including 2-2, 4-4, 5-5, 8-8, 9-9, and 15-15.
Eventually, the Blue Devils seemed to take charge and pulled away.
Alpena scored 21 points but could not hold Gaylord as the Blue Devils got the final three kills, taking home the 21-25 victory over the Wildcats.
Alpena lost all three sets by scores of 17-25, 18-25, and 21-25.
“Eventually, we got our offense running, and things were going well, but everything seemed to be a little too late. We got some really good sets and kills there at the end, but we have to get off to a better start. If we come out sluggish like we did tonight, we are already hurting ourselves, which cannot happen,” Andrews said.
Alpena’s kills were led by Madelynn Cameron and Olivia Precord, who recorded five. Avery Dubey and Sydney Hitzelberger also had four kills each.
The digs were led by Hitzelberger, who had 11, and Precord finished with seven.
The assists were once again led by Dubey with 12.
Atlanta 3, Alanson 0
The Atlanta volleyball team won again on Thursday, beating Alanson, 25-5, 25-6 and 25-7.
Brianna Jadrych had 18 kills and four blocks for Atlanta and Olivia McSwain added 23 assists.