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Dodgers host Wilde Invite

September 15, 2012
By DANA BECKER sports@messengernews.net

No. 2 (Class 2A) Western Christian proved that size doesn't matter Saturday afternoon at the Jackie Wilde Invitational.

Despite being the smallest school in the field, the Wolfpack went 6-0, including a convincing victory over top-ranked (5A) Iowa City High to earn another tournament title.

Last year, Western Christian also defeated the Little Hawks, who finished second at state in 2010. The Wolfpack were also runners-up a season ago.

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The Little Hawks went 5-1, while No. 7 (5A) Dowling finished 4-2. Lewis Central and 10th-ranked Ames (5A) went 3-3 each, while No. 3 (3A) Nevada went 2-4.

Osage finished the tournament 1-5, while the host school, Fort Dodge, went 0-6.

"You always want to win each time you step out on the court, but in the end, only one team can," FDSH head coach Toni Cochrane said. "We didn't have the kind of day in terms of record, but I saw a lot of improvement in our team by the end of the day.

"And by doing that, I thought this was a successful day for us."

The Dodgers (6-16 overall) lost to the Little Cyclones, 21-12, 21-19; City High, 21-10, 21-11; the Green Devils, 21-12, 24-26, 15-13; the Maroons, 21-16, 21-11; the Titans, 21-12, 21-6; and Cubs, 21-12, 23-21.

Ashley Altman led Fort Dodge with 19 kills, while Lexi Astor added 15 and Tiana Mericle registered seven. Mericle, a junior, also had seven blocks, while Astor accounted for 17 digs.

Kari Grindberg also had 17 digs, while freshman Jaci Cochrane racked up 15 through six matches. Maddie Egli led the team in assists with 29.

"I thought our defense played great," Cochrane said. "We got after the ball, but we just couldn't stay consistent on the attack."

Molly Matthes, a sophomore, connected on 17 of 18 serves, while Egli scored 30 points on serve for the Dodgers. Senior Mariah Knutson had a perfect serving tournament.

"Our younger players really took a step in the right direction," Cochrane said. "They played a lot of matches and really grew up (Saturday)."

Next up for the Dodgers will be No. 3 (5A) Ankeny inside the FDSH gym Tuesday night.

The tournament is named for Jackie Wilde, the former long-time Fort Dodge head coach. Wilde led the Dodgers to 19 state tournament appearances, including 18 in a row.

Fort Dodge captured two state titles under Wilde in 1971 and '84. From 1970-91, Wilde compiled an overall record of 519-204-31.

"I think it is great that this tournament continues each year," Wilde said. "The sport has had so many changes over the years that I can't imagine the time it takes to produce a winning team these days."

 
 

 

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