Gaels just miss tourney crown

The St. Edmond volleyball team turned in a strong showing Saturday at their own invitational, coming up just short of hoisting the trophy.

The Gaels lost to Aplington-Parkersburg in a three-set finale. Scores were 21-9, 21-23 and 15-9.

Despite not achieving the ultimate result, St. Edmond head coach Dee Huss was more than thrilled with the six matches she saw from her squad.

“We just came up a little short,” Huss said. “But the fact that we were right there until the end is a testament to how hard these kids have been working to push each other in practice. All of them want to become the best player they can be and it’s showing out on the court.”

The Gaels (5-2 overall)?actually earned a straight-set win over the Falcons in pool play, but they were unable to overcome a slow start in the rematch. Aplington-Parkersburg reeled off 15 of the final 19 points in the first set.

Needing to regroup, St. Edmond did just that in the second, withstanding several deficits to pull out the set.

Clare Flattery and Anna Yung each recorded four kills, while Megan Flattery had a key block to help the Gaels score six of the final seven points.

“We came out flat there in the first and let (Aplington-Parkersburg) really control the action,” Huss said. “But I thought our seniors showed the kind of leadership that we need from them to have a strong season be getting everybody focused and right back at it.

“We played much better after that first set.”

With the title up for grabs in a race to 15 points, the Gaels led just once, 4-3. After that, the Falcons used a pair of four-point rallies to seal the deal.

Senior Haley Schneiderman put the finishing touches on the day with back-to-back kills for Aplington-Parkersburg (5-1).

After completing pool play 5-0 with a straight-set victory over No. 10 (Class 1A) Bishop Garrigan, the Gaels took care of Southeast Valley in the semifinals, 21-17 and 21-19.

Clare Flattery had four kills in the second set vs. the Jaguars, while Yung recorded five in the first. Flattery, Yung and Hannah Huss combined for 10 kills in the upset win over the Golden Bears, who lost in the semis to A-P.

“One of our goals was to earn a win over Bishop Garrigan, so that was good to achieve,” Huss said. “Overall, I’m just really excited about what we accomplished (Saturday).”

For the day, Yung registered 38 kills and 47 digs. Senior Madeline Baldwin finished with 29 kills and 10 blocks, while Clare Flattery recorded a team-high 20 blocks.

Livi Huss, a freshman, tallied 89 assists and was the leader in serving (70 of 74 with 7 aces). Hannah Huss, also a ninth-grader, chipped in 25 kills, 12 blocks and 46 digs.

Libero Jill Salinas had a team-high 55 digs.

St. Edmond returns to action Tuesday when they travel to Storm Lake for a triangular with Pocahontas Area/Laurens-Marathon. The Gaels open North Central Conference play Thursday at home against No. 14 (3A) Webster City.