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Manson NW tops SE volleyball team

For Alyssa Guarnaccia, her first year as Manson Northwest Webster volleyball coach had been full of ups and downs.

The Cougars, though, displayed plenty of more ups than downs here Tuesday night in their regular season finale, besting St. Edmond in four.

Scores were 25-18, 23-25, 25-19 and 25-18.

Guarnaccia, who previously was an assistant coach at Iowa Central, has led Manson NW to a 15-11 record this year, including a 5-1 mark down the stretch.

“We’ve have our good moments and our bad ones,” Guarnaccia said. “But it’s all been a learning process. The girls are doing a great job and really listening to what we are trying to do. We’re putting in a new system and they have been able to get better with each practice and match.

“(Tuesday) we would play well for stretches, but also fell into some bad stretches.”

Junior Emily Goodner had 17 kills and classmate Olivia Sturgis added seven to lead the Cougars. Manson NW had eight serving aces and also received three kills from Alexis Miller and two by Chloe Peterson.

With her close relationship to Iowa Central head coach Sara Horn, Guarnaccia continues to seek advice from the leader of the top-ranked program in the country.

“I’m constantly throwing things off Sara,” Guarnaccia said. “She has always been a tremendous influence on my coaching career.”

The Cougars used quick starts all night to take control of the match, leading 19-11 in the first after a 8-0 run. They also tallied the first eight points in the third after St. Edmond (7-18) took the second and led 10-1 in the fourth before closing it out.

For the Gaels, Aleah Anderson had eight kills, Kierstin Clark had four with 25 assists and Alyxis Mericle had four kills. Lauren Gibb and Emma Alstott each had three kills.

“I thought we did a nice job of battling back. We just can’t get ourselves into such a big hole to start,” SEHS head coach Josephine Alstott said. “We’ve had trouble getting going in matches. Once we did, we played pretty well.

“It’s just something we haven’t been able to figure out. Getting momentum and keeping it has been an issue for us.”

Next action for Manson NW will be the start of Class 2A, Region 5 play when they face South Central Calhoun. The two met twice in the regular season, with the Titans winning both matches.

St. Edmond closes out its regular season on Thursday hosting Algona for Senior Night.

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