Wayne downs Ponca in four sets
WAYNE — Wayne responded from a second-set challenge from Ponca in the second set and regrouped after falling behind in the fourth set to turn back the Indians 25-15, 16-26, 25-12 and 25-23.
With the Indians leading in the fourth set 18-15, and 21-18 late in the set, Wayne responded to tie the score.
“We really kept competing and took control after Ponca came at us,” Wayne High coach Traci Krusemark said. “We’ve got some work to do, but we responded to the challenge — I was very happy about that.”
Trailing 21-18 after a hitting error, Wayne went on the offensive.
Ashton Boyer rifled a kill to make it 21-19 and said she felt her team coming back to finish the match.
“When we get focused and play together, we’re good,” Boyer said. “We kind of lost focus during the match and stopped talking. But we came together and won the match.”
Emily Armstrong slammed another kill before Boyer served up an ace. That tied the score at 21, forcing Ponca coach Paige Green to call a timeout.
“We really lost our concentration and what we were trying to do,” Green said. “We’ll learn from this and move on.”
Coming out of the timeout, Armstrong hit another winner before Katelyn Grone tipped a kill over the Ponca defense on an overpass at the net to put Wayne up, 23-21.
“They had us on the ropes to go five sets,” Krusemark said. “But we gathered ourselves and got the job done.”
Ponca scored on a hitting error by the Blue Devils, but Armstrong hit a cross-court slam to make it 24-22.
Ponca’s Kaci Day hit a winner of her own before Lauren Pick hit the last of her 15 kills to end the match.
Wayne looked as if it would make an early night of the match with a 25-15 win in the first set, but the Indians came back to win set two, 25-16.
“We had some success and played our game in the second set,” Green said. “They kind of shut the door in the third set.”
Josie Reed smashed a kill to make it 24-16 and Day finished the set with a winner off the Wayne block in that second set.
“We really got focused after the second set,” Boyer said. “We knew it was time to get going.”
Which is exactly what the Blue Devils did.
They sprinted to a 14-3 lead in the set and went on to the 25-12 win to go up 2-1 in the set.
“I wasn’t pleased with the way we started the fourth set,” Wayne’s Krusemark said. “But I was happy about how we came together and finished the set and the match.”
Ponca went up 13-11 after an ace serve by Dana Kratke and went up again by the 21-18 score before the Wayne comeback.
Wayne defeats Ponca
25-15, 16-25, 25-12, 25-23
WAYNE (1-0): Kiara Krusemark 1k, 19s, 7d; Erin O’Reilly 1d; Ashton Boyer 3a, 15k, 1b, 1a, 10d; Emily Armstrong 6k, 1b, 14d; Katelyn Grone 1a, 7k, 3b, 12d; Frankie Klausen 2k, 1b, 3a, 11d; Lauren Pick 2a, 15k, 12d; Allyson Avery 1k, 23a; Hailey Backer 1a, 6d.
PONCA (0-1): NA