CEDAR RAPIDS —
“When you’ve got a tall girl like that, it’s definitely going to make it tough,” Genskow added. “We just tried to get whatever we could against her.”
Early on, Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont was getting its fair share of points despite Morgan’s presence. The Rockets and Wolverines traded four ties as the two teams went right at each other with Dike-New Hartford having to grind out an early 7-6 lead against a fired-up Rockets’ squad.
“We wanted to go out and take the first set,” Taylor said. “We think that’s a major confidence booster for us and a downer for the other team.”
But the more times Eddyville-Bl;akesburg-Fremont had to adjust and account for Morgan, the more openings began to develop for the Wolverines to exploit. The Rockets’ attempts to fire back instead ended with balls missing wide or being blocked by Dike-New Hartford, who gradually pulled away for a 25-14 opening-game win.
“I think we just got tired. It’s hard keeping up with them,” Taylor said. “They’re so fast paced and they’re hard hitters. Even their back row isn’t lacking for talent.”
While Morgan may have been the tallest player and most imposing force at the net for Dike-New Hartford, it was 5-10 junior Briana Weber who had the most winners for the Wolverines. Weber crushed home 12 of her match-high 17 kills in the opening two games and more than doubled Morgan in total attacks, going 30-38 hitting to Morgan’s 11-14 effort.
“It’s an extremely difficult challenge to defend them,” Alexander said of Dike-New Hartford. “They can attack the net from almost anywhere.”
The total gradual moment shift began to hit a downhill pace in game two. Dike-New Hartford jumped out an earlier lead against the valiant Rockets and appeared as if they would cruise to a 2-0 lead by opening a 19-10 lead in game two.