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Gael volleyball team honors lone senior

First-year St. Edmond head volleyball coach Matt Reynoso typically keeps it pretty upbeat around his team.

On Thursday night, though, Reynoso unleashed some fire in hopes of rallying the Gaels against Clear Lake.

While the “tough” words weren’t enough for St. Edmond to overcome the Lions on Senior Night, they did put up a fight before falling in three.

Scores were 25-18, 25-12 and 25-23.

“I was just disappointed that they didn’t seem to be taking it seriously,” Reynoso said. “I don’t really like to yell or anything like that because it isn’t who I am, but I’ll admit, I got after them before the third.

“And, to their credit, the girls recognized what was going on and responded. I know we didn’t get the win, or even win the third set, but we played so much better. We just can’t wait until that point in a match to play like that.”

Prior to the action, the Gaels (4-14 overall, 0-6 in the North Central Conference) honored their middle school teams and lone senior Maddie Reynoso.

“Getting this opportunity to coach my daughter, her senior season of volleyball, it’s been so memorable,” Reynoso said. “Being able to be with her and these girls…I’ve definitely enjoyed it.”

Reynoso recorded three serving aces, including one in the third set that brought the Gaels to within 20-17 of Clear Lake (15-10, 3-3). She also had three kills.

Sophomore Ansley Oswald recorded eight kills, including five in the second set, while twin sister Ansley recorded three. Ninth-grader Ava Underberg had five kills, 10th-grader Lauren Gibb three and classmate Claire O’Connor two.

As a team, St. Edmond recorded seven serving aces.

“We’ve really shown a lot of growth, but we’ve got to have girls become leaders out there,” Reynoso said. “When Clear Lake needed a big point, they had someone step up and deliver. That was kind of the difference. That’s a team with nine seniors who are experienced and understand what it takes against a program learning to grow with several young kids.

“I’m confident if we keep working hard, we’ll get to where we want to be.”

The Lions have now won each of the last five meetings between the NCC rivals. St. Edmond’s last victory over Clear Lake came in 2017 — a five-set match.

Next action for the Gaels will be on Saturday at Hampton for tournament play. Teams in the field include host Hampton-Dumont/CAL, Ames, Grand View Christian, Webster City, Independence, Iowa Falls-Alden, Janesville, No. 13 (Class 2A) Carroll Kuemper, Roland-Story and South Hardin.

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