RANKED CHALLENGE

Fort Dodge starts strong, but can’t keep Warriors down

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Fort Dodge’s Kyanna Kirk (10) blocks Waukee’s Maggie Clark on Tuesday inside the Dodger gym. For more photos, please visit CU.messengernews.net

The Fort Dodge volleyball team put early pressure on Waukee here Tuesday night in the opening set of their CIML Iowa Conference match.

The seventh-ranked (Class 5A) Warriors used their size and experience to settle in, though, completing a sweep over the Dodgers.

Scores were 26-24, 25-12 and 25-9.

Waukee (11-8 overall, 1-0 in league) recorded 18 kills in the opening set alone, as junior Aubri Adams and sophomore Layanna Green each had five.

Ciarra Love served an ace to make it 20-16 Fort Dodge (2-11, 0-1) in the first, but the Warriors were scored 10 of the final 14 points to overcome the deficit. Senior Maggie Clark tallied the last two points with kills.

“We really came out and played well that first set,” FDSH head coach Toni Cochrane said. “But that’s a very athletic, very tall Waukee team and they responded to the adversity we gave them. We haven’t been in a lot of big matches like this yet, and I thought we got a little rattled with the late points.

“But we’ll learn from this and use it moving forward.”

Molly Hartman had a team-high 21 digs for the Dodgers, with Brooke Erickson adding 15 and Brooklyn Rowden nine. Kiana Touney had three kills and Ebonee Altman two, as FDSH was without Kacee Gollob.

“Without Kacee — our leader in kills and blocks — in the middle, we had trouble defending them,” Cochrane said. “The girls really did a great job digging and serving (Tuesday). We kept several long rallies going with our play on defense.”

Gollob’s status for this weekend and the Jackie Wilde Invitational remains unknown at this time, as the 6-foot-3 senior is sidelined with an injury.

Hartman, Kathryn Cochrane and Emma Bloom were a combined 24-for-24 serving.

Waukee, which has won five of its last seven overall with the two losses coming to second-ranked Ankeny Centennial and No. 4 Cedar Rapids Jefferson, had 14 team kills in the second set. Green finished with 10 on the night, with Haley Bush adding nine and Adams six.

The Warriors have now won nine in a row over the Dodgers, who last scored a victory in the series in 2009. This was their first meeting since 2014.

Fort Dodge is set to face Des Moines Christian, No. 8 (1A) Ridge View and Marshalltown this Saturday at its own invite.

Waukee also won the junior varsity (18-25, 25-11, 15-11), sophomore (25-12, 25-20), freshman A (25-21, 25-16) and freshman B (25-11, 25-11) matches.

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