The 10th-ranked (Class 3A) Algona volleyball team isn't where head coach Shelley TerHark wants them, but they are getting closer.
Following a sweep over North Central Conference foe St. Edmond Tuesday night, the Bulldogs "tweaked" their rotations.
Scores were 25-13, 25-21 and 25-10.
Messenger photo by Britt Kudla
St. Edmond’s Alli Huss hits the ball over the net as Algona’s Tatum Meyer (8)?and Gabby Holmes (2)?wait on Tuesday night. For more photos, please visit CU?at www.messengernews.net
Algona's (13-4 overall, 1-1 in NCC) won 10 of its last 13, yet little changes continue to be made along the way.
"We're still tweaking things," said TerHark, who also took over athletic director duties at the high school this year. "Over the weekend, we made a few changes to some of our rotations and we are still trying to figure out where our strengths and weaknesses are.
"I thought we battled through some trouble areas and were able to continue clicking."
Seniors Tatum Meyer and Ali Grein each had 11 kills, with Meyer recording three straight blocks in the second to help the Bulldogs pull away from the Gaels (5-9, 0-2).
"Algona is a traditionally strong team," SEHS head coach Dee Huss said. "We hung in there with them, especially in that second, but we just couldn't stay mentally tough.
"I feel like playing this level of competition on a near nightly basis is only making our team better."
Alli Huss led St. Edmond with four kills and four solo blocks, while Anna Yung added two kills, four assists, eight digs and an ace.
Jill Salinas was 13-for-13 serving with an ace, while Lauren Moeding had seven assists. Paige Savery added 21 digs and Madeline Baldwin had three kills.
Algona was never threatened in the first after racing out to a 14-7 lead. In the second, though, the Gaels exchanged points until the Bulldogs reeled off eight of the final 10 in the set.
Carly Seely had five kills, Meyer registered four solo blocks and assisted on five more, and Gabby Holmes recorded 23 digs.
Holmes was also 19-for-20 serving with three aces. Reba Zeller was 18 of 18 serving with three aces and 15 assists, while Sami Grein had 17 assists.
Game three was all Algona, as the Bulldogs scored eight of the first nine and kept St. Edmond from ever getting closer than nine.
"We've just got to keep doing the little things right to stay in matches," Huss said. "(Against Algona) we just couldn't find many openings to attack."
The Gaels return to action Thursday at Eagle Grove, while the Bulldogs host intra-city rival and No. 10 (1A) Bishop Garrigan the same night.
In junior varsity action, Algona won 21-18, 21-10. The Bulldogs also claimed the freshman match, 21-13, 19-21, 15-11.