Wildcats fall to Gaylord in regular season finale

With the postseason looming, the Alpena High volleyball team wrapped up its regular season against an opponent the Wildcats will see on Tuesday when district play begins.
The Wildcats will be hoping for better results as they dropped their regular season finale on Wednesday in a contest that had the feelings of a postseason matchup as they fell to Big North Conference rival Gaylord, 20-25, 25-19, 25-27 and 19-25.
“This is a team we’re going to see again and we’ve known the last two weeks that it’s us against Gaylord these next few matches and we knew what we had to do coming into tonight. We executed a lot of things and had some things tonight that we have been doing well, that didn’t go as well,” Alpena coach Kolby Andrews said. “We need to execute our serving a little bit better and get to our blocks which haven’t been our problem, but we’ll work on it over the next couple of days and we know exactly what we’re going to see again on Tuesday.”
The Wildcats went cold late in the first set. Both teams went back and forth, exchanged leads and found themselves tied 19-19 before Gaylord scored five of the next six points to take an early lead in the match.
The Blue Devils carried the momentum into the early parts of the second set and jumped out to a 7-3 lead, but Alpena found a rhythm, scoring 11 of the next 12 points to take a 13-9 lead midway through the set and was able to hold on to tie the match up at one game apiece.
The Blue Devils responded in a big way during the third set. After being tied 5-5 early, Gaylord went on a huge run, scoring 10 unanswered points to open up a commanding 15-5 lead and regain the lead in the match despite a valiant attempt from the Wildcats to claw their way back at the end of the third set and nearly complete an what would have been an epic comeback after trailing 20-9 in the set.
Gaylord once again got out to an early lead in the fourth set, despite another effort to claw back, the Wildcats were unable to get as close and the Blue Devils spoiled Senior Night in Alpena.
“Part of what we’ve been stressing is just hustle and not letting anything hit the floor and that’s what allowed us to stay in some of those tonight. We fell into some tough rotations and fell behind and had to scratch our way back and we did,” Andrews said. “The girls worked really hard tonight, executed some things we’ve been practicing and working on and it gives us a lot of confidence going into the next couple of days and we’ll be ready for Tuesday.”
The Wildcats will travel to Gaylord to take on the Blue Devils at 6 pm on Tuesday with the hopes of moving on to host Petoskey next Thursday.