No. 6 Jaguars too much for Dodgers

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla: Cadence Touney hits the ball over the net for Fort Dodge on Tuesday against Ankeny Centennial. For more photos, visit CU.messengernews.net

The Fort Dodge volleyball squad showed the kind of fight and passion Martha Mericle wants to see on a nightly basis here Tuesday.

While it wasn’t enough for the Dodgers to overcome sixth-ranked (Class 5A) Ankeny Centennial on Senior Night, Mericle knows it was a step in the right direction.

Scores were 25-10, 25-16 and 25-12.

“We just can’t get in holes early,” Mericle said. “You can’t do that against good teams; you can’t do that against anybody, really. We’ve got to come out with the same intensity each point of each set.

“We’re still learning and we’re trying to figure that all out.”

The Dodgers honored their lone two seniors, Tjaden Johnston and Alexis Hiracheta, during the evening. Johnston recorded two kills and two blocks, and Hiracheta had a strong match serving.

Junior Lainey Maehl led Fort Dodge with four kills, with freshman Cadence Touney added three. Junior Maggie Elsbecker was 8-for-9 serving with two aces.

“I thought we did a better job of staying in points,” Mericle said. “We didn’t back down against them despite being at a height disadvantage.

“We’ve just got to find different ways to make up for that.”

Centennial used a quick 9-2 run in the first to gain control and scored nine of 10 during one stretch to make it 21-7 before closing things out. Olivia Anderson had four kills and the Jaguars had five others with a kill.

Anderson had four more kills in the second as Centennial again started strong, scoring eight of the first nine points. She would finish the night with 12 kills while Marissa Meyer had eight and Monica Mirembe five.

Fort Dodge did close the gap in the second set to three at 10-7 and four at 13-9 before the Jaguars would rally. In the third, Centennial led 9-0 and took command on a 6-0 run that made it 18-5.

Sophomore Mackenzie McIlrath had a kill and a block, freshman Mariah Myers had two kills and the Dodgers had five serving aces overall.

Fort Dodge competes in the Carroll Tournament this Saturday. Teams in attendance include the host Tigers, Ar-We-Va, No. 13 (4A) Humboldt, IKM-Manning, 10th-ranked (1A) Newell-Fonda, South Central Calhoun and Storm Lake.


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