MASON CITY – Entering the volleyball season, Newman Catholic was faced with the challenge of inexperience at the varsity level.
To complicate matters, the Knights have struggled with injuries so much during the early going that coach Kristen Breckenridge has had to juggle the lineup from match to match.
Newman may have taken a solid step forward on Tuesday, though the Knights dropped a tough 3-2 match to Northwood-Kensett.
Set scores were 28-26, 22-25, 16-25, 25-18 and 15-13 for the Vikings.
“I think we are playing well,” Breckenridge said. “We’ve just had numerous injuries.”
The opening set was likely the key to the evening as both teams had several opportunities to go up 1-0.
Ultimately, N-K pulled away for a 28-26 win, but the Knights came back with some of their best volleyball of the season over the next two sets.
For those two sets, the Knights showed off some solid, fundamental offensive volleyball that resulted in a number of solid swings from hitters Keelan Curley and Emily Udelhofen, among others.
To N-K’s credit, though, the Vikings stepped up their own game and, after a key win in set 4, the Vikings broke a 13-13 tie in set 5 with two straight points to close the match.
“We will be focusing on communication and working as a team,” Breckenridge said. “I think we are figuring that out.”
Newman (1-10) returns to the court Thursday when it travels to West Hancock.
N-K (4-7) plays host to Central Springs on Tuesday.