FOREST CITY – They set the tone early, and when tested, simply showed a winning resolve.
The Waldorf volleyball team closed out its home season in style Saturday afternoon at the Hanson Fieldhouse, beating visiting Mayville State, 25-19, 25-16, 21-25, 25-12 in North Star Athletic Association action.
"It was especially meaningful to have all the parents and our supporters in the crowd cheering us on as we got that victory," Waldorf head coach Bri Ebenhoe said as the Warriors celebrated senior weekend with ceremonies Friday night and again Saturday.
Inspired by the "Senior Day" emotions, the Warriors (5-25 overall, 2-12 NSAA) came out strong and used an Angie Gore kill to snap a 14-14 tie in the opening set.
That ignited a victory charge that saw a Kyra Platzek kill make it 20-16, a Rebecca Bartnicki kill push the lead to 23-18, and a Platzek kill finished off the first-set win.
"We talked for weeks about coming out with a lot fire and energy and then working hard to maintain that through a match," Ebenhoe said. "We've seen glimpses of that here and there, but today we were able to put it together more than we ever have before."
Evidenced by the Warriors grabbing an 8-4 lead in the second set on a Gore kill, a 15-10 advantage on a Bartnicki kill, and eventually a 25-16 victory after April Jones pounded down a ball.
The Comets found their rhythm in the third set and held a 13-5 lead, but that's when Waldorf regained the match's momentum with determination.
"We just came to a timeout and said, 'we're not playing like us, we're letting them dictate the pace,'" Ebenhoe said. "We decided we were going to take it back a point at a time, a ball at a time, and if it ran over into another set we weren't going to let that shake us. We were going to take our momentum back."
The Warriors battled back, getting as close as 18-16 down on a Bartnicki kill, but couldn't complete the comeback.
But, Waldorf did retake the match's momentum and rolled in the fourth set.
A run of two kills each from Bartnicki and Gore made it 10-4 early, an Erica Fee service ace stretched the lead to 17-10, and a final Kelsey Sederquest ace finished off the win.
Senior Kaitlyn Monck had a huge match in her home finale, racking up 53 assists and 10 digs, while Gore had 16 kills, Bartnicki added 15 kills, and Platzek pounded out 12 kills. Defensively, Fee had 20 digs and Rieley Rodman had 14 for the Warriors, who next play at Presentation on Friday.