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Improving GMG can’t catch Clarksville

Young Wolverines still making costly mistakes

September 14, 2012
By TROY HYDE - T-R Assistant Sports Editor ( , Times-Republican

GARWIN - From the opening match of the season to right now, the GMG volleyball squad has made huge strides of improvement, according to coach Darlene Koster.

The improvements are not yet resulting in victories for her Wolverines, but Koster believes with continued hard work, things can get turned around.

"We have shown a lot of improvement, but we are a very young team," Koster said. "We have no starters back from last year's team. We've come a long way since that first game. We'll continue to work, too."

Article Photos

GMG junior Caitlin Appelgate puts away an attack against Iowa Star Conference rival Clarksville on Thursday night in Garwin. The Wolverines lost to the Indians in three games.

The Wolverines lost an Iowa Star Conference match up Clarksville on Thursday in Garwin. The Indians swept GMG 25-21, 25-18, 25-16.

"We came out strong and played well early, but then I think the girls get down on themselves when things don't go well," Koster said. "We're fighting and working hard though."

The Wolverines took an early 6-2 lead in Game 1 thanks to a couple of kills from Olivia Barritt and Abigail Duden and a service error by Clarksville.

They maintained their lead at 8-3 before the Indians rolled off five straight points to even the game. GMG though quickly got the lead back to four following four straight points, including a kill by Caitlin Appelgate, an ace by Duden and a kill by Sara Hinson.

It was back-and-forth for much of the remainder of the game until the final four points. The Wolverines trailed 21-20 late in the game, but Clarksville scored four of the next five points and won the game after a GMG service error.

The Indians carried their Game 1 momentum into the second frame, jumping out to a 4-0 lead. GMG rallied to a 5-5 tie though thanks to a Mikaella Koster ace and a Barritt kill.

More back-and-forth play would follow until Clarksville grabbed the advantage in the second game for good with three straight points that gave it a 13-10 lead. The advantage grew to five points a few different times before Clarksville scored the final three points to win by seven.

Clarksville's Megan Backer began the third and final set with a pair of aces and the Indians were well on their way to a sweep. The 3-0 start grew to 6-2 and then a 6-0 run made 12-4. Appelgate stopped the run but three more consecutive points by the Indians put the game and match out of reach.

Appelgate managed back-to-back blocks a few points later but it was too little, too late for the Wolverines, who dropped to 1-9 overall and 0-3 in Iowa Star Conference action on the year.

One thing the Wolverines still need work on is passing, but Koster said they have come a long way in improving that.

"We'll keep working, but we need to move forward with our setters," she said. "There are two new starters there. They are brand new to varsity."

Appelgate led the Wolverines with three kills, three blocks and two aces, while Duden added two aces, two digs and two kills. Barritt finished with two kills and two blocks, Koster and Peyton Mannan each added two aces and Autumn Rosacker had two kills.

GMG will play at the Gladbrook-Reinbeck Tournament on Saturday. Action there begins at 9 a.m.



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