ALGONA - Estherville Lincoln Central had its chances against Algona, but the scrappy Bulldogs never gave up.
Algona scored the final four points of the match to pull out a 25-18, 20-25, 25-21, 20-25, 15-13 victory over the Midgets in a Class 3A first-round match on Monday.
"We came out flat in that first game, but after that, I thought we played pretty well," said ELC coach Tyler Johnson.
ELC senior Allie Sievert (12) attacks the double block of Algona during regional play on Monday in Algona. Teammates behind her on Katie Gruhlke (1) and libero Kristen King (white shirt).
EDN photo by David Swartz
After battling back to even the match at one game apiece, ELC (19-11) then took an 8-0 lead in the third game.
However, Algona wouldn't go away as they scored the next seven points.
ELC retained the lead, but the Bulldogs kept scrapping away and took the lead at 15-14. The Midgets were within two and 20-18, but the Bulldogs were able to pull out the 25-21 win.
Coming back in the fourth game, ELC took a 17-11 lead. While the Bulldogs again cut the deficit to three, ELC closed out the match with a pair of kills from Casey Sievert, another by Megan Jensen to get game point. Paige Guge then had a hard hit that Algona scrambled around before failing to get across the next.
ELC jumped out to a 7-4 lead in the final game after an ace serve by Allie Sievert. Algona rallied to tie the game at 9-9, but a dink by Casey Sievert and an ace serve by Kristen King put ELC head 11-9.
ELC led 13-11 after Allie Sievert's 14th kill of the night.
Algona responded with a kill by Carly Seely to make it 13-12. Guge then hit the ball wide as the game was tied at 13-13. Algona then came up with two big blocks, the last one against Allie Sievert, to get the win.
Johnson said the team ran the play, but the set wasn't quite where it needed to be.
Casey Sievert finished with 11 kills while Guge had six.
Allie Sievert had seven blocks and 13 digs. Kristen King had 18 digs and Guge had 15. Also Joslyn Moore and Gruhlke each had an ace serve.
Playing in their final high school match were Casey Sievert, Allie Sievert, Paige Guge and Kristen King.
"The seniors will be missed," said Johnson. "They put in a lot of time over the past few years."