W-G netters pull improbable rally to stay alive in postseason

Woodward-Granger players exult after completing a come-from-behind win over host South Hamilton in postseason play Wednesday. Photo courtesy Sheila Wallace.

JEWELL, IOWA — Emotions were at their highest in the South Hamilton gym Wednesday as Woodward-Granger rallied from a 2-0 deficit to stun the hosts, 3-2, in their Class 2A Region 4 Quarterfinal.

The win moved W-G (11-20) into a Monday trip to Eldora to face No. 10 South Hardin, who dispatched Ogden, 3-0, Wednesday. The Tigers bounced the Hawks from the regional semis last season, and the two foes only recently faced off, South Hardin claiming a 21-16, 21-12 win Saturday in the Norm McCune Invite in Woodward.

Wednesday’s battle of Hawks began in favor of the hosts, with South Hamilton (12-17) following a 25-21 game one win with a 25-23 win in game two.

At that point the W-G seniors could either have focused on the match being their last prep action or chosen instead to keep fighting to stay alive. They opted for the latter, winning game three, 25-18, and game four, 25-23, to force a tiebreaker.

Riding momentum and a surge of emotions the visitors rolled to a 15-10 win, setting off a mad celebration and extending their season.

Audrey Simmons distributed 18 assists and Samantha Volz 14 for the victors, with Darby Nixon adding four and Brayten Ashman three.

Ashley Gerken recorded 10 kills, Jada Tague nine and Grace Deputy eight, with Lindsay Mescher contributing six kills. Volz had five kills and Ashman and Simmons four apiece, with Nixon having two kills.

Nixon led the team with 21 digs, with Simmons tallying 20 and Ashman 17. Volz made 13 digs, Deputy three, Bella McDivitt two and Mescher one.

The visiting Hawks had 13 aces serves while connecting on 94-of-109 (86 percent) attempts behind the line.

Volz was 2-29-4 and Tague 21-21-5 to lead the way. Deputy finished 12-14-3 and Nixon 9-10-1, with Ashman 17-of-18, Simmons 8-of-14 and Gerken 1-of-3.

Nixon was honored by her teammates after the contest, as the senior reached a career milestone during the win, surpassing 1,000 career digs.

The winner of Monday’s semifinal will face either AC/GC or SW Valley Wednesday in the R4 Final, the location of which is yet to be determined. All postseason matches begin at 7 p.m.


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