MASON CITY | Mason City volleyball coach Nicole Hunter knew that the Mohawks would be a work in progress this year, particularly since the Mohawks graduated 12 off of last season’s roster.

Mason City continued to show improvement on Tuesday, particularly with solid runs in the first and third sets, in a 3-0 loss to Johnston.

Set scores were 25-21, 25-17 and 25-20.

“It is a process,” Hunter said. “We have to keep working and have that drive to win.”

The volleyball match was the centerpiece of Mason City’s Coaches vs. Cancer fundraising efforts.

The Mohawks came out of the gate strongly in the opening set, but Johnston was able to use some strong front-line play to take control late.

Despite one solid Mohawk run, the outcome of the second set was never really in doubt, but the third set remained close until the Dragons were able to pull away with the final four points.

One player who has been growing into her front-line role his Kaitlyn Roberts, a 6-foot-1 junior who first emerged as a defensive presence in the middle.

“Kaitlyn has been working on swinging faster,” Hunter said. “And our setters have worked hard at spreading the ball around.”

Roberts finished the night with 6 kills in 13 attack attempts. She also had a pair of blocks. 

Bobbi Tilkes was 11 of 11 serving with an ace. She finished with 7 digs. 

The Mohawks have a week off before their next match at Marshalltown next Tuesday, and Hunter expects the team to take advantage of some rare in-season practice team.

“From this point, it is intense practices encompassing game speed drills,” Hunter said.

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