Wildcats swept by No. 5-ranked Vikings at home
ALPENA — The Alpena High volleyball team entered Wednesday’s Big North Conference volleyball contest winners of their last two matchups.
The Wildcats (10-9, 2-5 BNC) knew extending their winning streak to three would be no easy task as they welcomed the No. 5-ranked team in Division 2.
Despite a valiant effort from the Wildcats, Cadillac proved why they are deserving of their top-five ranking as the Vikings swept the Wildcats 25-21, 26-24, and 25-0 at Alpena High School.
“I’m really proud of the girls for the way we played against a very tough team who is ranked,” Alpena coach Melissa Doubek said.
Cadillac used its length to overwhelm the Wildcats at the net beginning in the early stages of the first set and the trend continued throughout the match as Alpena couldn’t come up with an answer for Cadillac’s height and ability to hammer down vicious spikes, but the Wildcats kept Cadillac off-balance by switching up offensive attacks to make up for their lack of height and take the Vikings out of their comfort zone.
Alpena dropped the first set and responded in the second by holding a 17-10 late, but, unfortunately for the Wildcats, Cadillac battled their way back to tie the game at 22.
The Wildcats trailed 24-22 and responded after a timeout by scoring two straight to tie the game, but were unable to finish as the Vikings scored the final two points to close out the second set and take a commanding lead in the match.
“We talked about mixing it up and running multiple offenses, and we kept drawing blockers,” Doubek said. “We did a lot of good things tonight. The girls came out and didn’t make the unforced errors that we have before and, despite the loss, I am proud of how we played.”
The Wildcats were paced by Allie DeRocher, who finished with 10 digs and seven kills. Allie Urlaub recorded 19 digs, while Kate Skiba added 13 digs, seven kills, and five aces. Jade Gray chipped in with 11 digs, seven kills, and three aces, and Kami Schultz had 11 digs and nine kills.
“We’ve really picked it up after our last three matches, and we’re really coming together,” Doubek said. “The girls are adapting and have really responded well to what we want them to do.”
The Wildcats have time to regroup and prepare for another BNC meeting next Wednesday, when they travel to Traverse City West to take on the Titans.
The Alpena JV team was also swept by Cadillac, losing 20-25, 25-20, and 18-25.
Marah Wisniewski dished out 14 assists, Macy Schram had 23 digs, Olivia Precord recorded 10 digs and five kills, and Lanie Morgan chipped in with six kills.