Dodgers at the net

Momentum can be difficult to stop in volleyball.

Fort Dodge found that out the hard way Tuesday night vs. Waukee.

After exchanging the first two games, the Dodgers (4-7 overall) let a 21-12 advantage slip away in the third and the Warriors took advantage.

Waukee (3-4) won by scores of 25-20, 15-25, 26-24 and 25-12.

“We’ve been working all week on finishing games,” first-year FDSH head coach Tonia Burrell said. “In that third, we didn’t do that and Waukee was able to battle back.

“We have to finish those out if we want to win matches.”

Ashley Altman led Fort Dodge with 12 kills, while Tiana Mericle added nine. Lexi Astor chipped in seven and 13 digs.

“The girls are still learning, but compared to where we were last Tuesday, I am happy with the strides we’ve made,” Burrell said. “It’s just the little things and building our confidence up.

“If we can correct those, and get the girls believing they can win, we will find success.”

The Dodgers came out strong after securing the second, building a quick 8-3 lead. That ballooned to 18-11 and 21-12 before Waukee reeled off seven straight points to tie it at 23-all.

Fort Dodge scored first, but the Warriors collected the final three points and the game. The fourth was all Waukee, as they scored 14 of the first 18 points.

“We didn’t have much left after that third,” Burrell said. “We made a run to try and get back in it, but we allowed (Waukee) to get too comfortable.”

Mericle also had five blocks, while Maci Knutson recorded 13 digs and was 21-for-22 serving.

“Ashley had a strong game attacking, and Tiana’s blocking was more consistent,” Burrell said. “Overall, the girls stepped up and played hard.”

The Dodgers return to action this weekend at the Osage Invitational. Start time is set for 9 a.m. Saturday.

Fort Dodge lost the junior varsity contest 25-19, 25-20. They won the sophomore match, 25-20, 25-21; and split freshman, winning the A (28-26, 27-25) and losing the B (25-16, 14-25, 15-7).