"Well that was the big thing that we wanted to focus on all week was competing at a high level against a great team like that," said Spirit Lake coach Beau Dielschneider. "We feel like we can compete with anybody when we play at a high level and that showed tonight. Western Christian was able to set up a number of plays and it showed when we couldn't get to the blocks quick enough because they were running a number of quicks, but we challenged them. Bailey Loveall, Kendra Stokke and a lot of the other girls were challenging their blockers and defensively our back row girls weren't afraid and they were aggressive getting to the hits and everybody did a nice job. Now that next level is playing consistent and not having those breaks where we let the other team slip away. But they did a good job, I'm proud of them."
The Indians scrappiness and ability to hustle to and chase down balls forced the Wolfpack into uncharacteristically making mistakes throughout the match.
Spirit Lake's Bailey Loveall set the tone on the second point with a block, and even though the Wolfpack moved ahead 15-3 after a couple of long serving runs, the Indians came up with kills from Paige Krause, Kaela Delperdang and Kendra Stokke late in the first set.
Kayla Herrig gave SL a short-lived 1-0 lead in the second set with a kill. Western Christian moved back ahead 11-5 before Joie Veldman capped off a long rally with a kill. Loveall helped the Indians stick within 10 points with two late kills, although all-state hitter Brooke Wolterstorff scored a kill off a quick set from Jamie Gesink and then capped off a 25-12 win with a block.
The Indians never got going after moving ahead 1-0 in the third set, getting outscored 12-4 midway through the game. Gesink and Kim Kroeze both used three-point serving runs to push the Wolfpack lead up to 21-8, but the Indians got late kills from Alissa Christoffer and Stokke before Wolterstorff fired off back-to-back kills, including the game-winner off a back set.
Stokke and Veldman led the Indians with four kills each and Paige Krause passed out 13 set assists.
Defensively, Bailey Loveall swatted three block assists. Stokke had seven digs and Carter Hassel finished with three digs.
Alissa Christoffer (3 for 3), Kaela Delperdang (4 for 4) and Bailey Loveall (6 for 6) all had 100 percent serving efforts.
The Indians are back on the court Saturday at the Forest City Invitational.