MASON CITY | The Mason City volleyball team had a steep learning curve this season as the Mohawks returned very few players with significant varsity playing time.
That inexperience was a major obstacle that the Mohawks could never quite overcome, and it showed once again in a 3-0 Mason City loss to Webster city in the opening round of Class 4A regional play on Tuesday.
“We just played them so we kind of knew what to expect,” Mason City coach Nicole Hunter said. “We were just playing timid in that first set.”
Mason City spotted the Lynx a 12-1 lead in the opening set before putting together a modest comeback that provided some hope that the Mohawks would be able to put together a strong match.
The Mohawks fought back from an early deficit in set two to take a 13-11 lead before Webster City rattled off 10 unanswered points to take control.
The Mohawk comeback in set one was largely due to the hitting performance of Grace Tobin, but in the second set, the Mohawks finally started to get some solid swings from a number of other sources, including Kaitlyn Roberts and Emma Hollander.
The final set was a repeat of the second as Mason City remained close until the Lynx scored seven of the final eight points of the match.
“We had some decent blocks and swings,” Hunter said. “We had a few too many hitting errors.”
Tobin led Mason City with 11 kills while Roberts and Hollander added six and five kills, respectively.
Kamry Dawson had 11 kills for Webster City.
While the loss ends Mason City’s season, Hunter hopes to see some growth between now and next fall.
The Mohawks should return most of the key components from this year’s squad, including Tobin, Roberts, Hollander, Megan Hollander and setter Cassie Sievers.
“This year, we had two returning players who had a half of a season of varsity experience,” Hunter said. “Next year, we will have almost everybody. We should be ready to do big things.”