EMMETSBURG - The persistent Cherokee Washington High volleyball team stayed the course through thick and thin here Thursday night to ultimately prevail 3-2 in exciting Lakes Conference action.
The WHS lasses, fast improving each time out with just one returning player with extensive varsity experience, captured the final three games after the gritty E-Hawks won the first two. Cherokee won by game scores of 25-27, 23-25, 25-16, 25-22, 15-4.
"We got off to a very slow and sluggish start and didn't move and cover the floor well at all," said Cherokee coach Curt Klaahsen, who, along with his staff, did an admirable job of keeping their team in it through the rough early going.
"Fortunately, we hung in there and slowly chipped away at the lead. The team never lost faith in each other and that pulled us through."
Nicole Hatch led the winners in serving with a super 28-29 night with two aces. She was followed by Lacie Drennan 22-23 and five aces, Kayla Messerole 14-15 and two aces, Sarah Radke 12-13 and one ace, and Kelsey Essick 11-11 and two aces.
Hatch also led her team in setting with a 47-49 effort and 14 assists, while Radke was 45-47 with 12 assists, and Kylie Dilla 13-13 and four assists.
Essick paced Cherokee in service receptions with 39-43, while Alison Husman was 20-22, and Drennan 9-10.
Drennan was the leader in spiking with a 34-42 night and 14 kills, followed by Husman 27-31 and nine kills, Lynn Leonard 26-27 and six kills, and Kayla Messerole 24-25 and seven kills. Messerole and Leonard led in blocks with four aces each.
Drennan also led in digs with 21, while Husman tallied 20, Hatch 17, and Essick 16.
Cherokee hosts Storm Lake tonight and travels to Spencer Tuesday in more Lakes Conference volleyball action.