Wayne senior Megan Birkland bends like an acrobat in midair for the spike. Also pictured are fellow Lady Falcons Haylee Fortune, 7, and Tori Freeman, 12. Wayne ended the regular season on an 8-4 run. Photo by Jason Selby
After a rough 2-7 record to start the 2016 season, the Wayne volleyball team has rallied around its seniors to go on a 9-5 run in their final 14 games. On Mon., Oct. 10, the Lady Falcons traveled to Truro for the Pride of Iowa Conference Tournament.
In their first match against the home Interstate 35 Roadrunners, Wayne lost a heartbreaker in 2 sets, 25-27 and 24-26.
Haylee Fortune and senior Megan Birkland led the team with 5 kills each. Fortune added 10 assists, 4 digs, 1 block and 1 ace. Birkland had 1 assist, 2 digs and 2 blocks.
Tori Freeman had 3 kills, 8 digs, 1 assist and 1 block. Senior Demi Austin had 2 kills and 2 digs. Senior Sarah Norris had 2 kills. Senior Katie Gassman had 1 kill and 1 ace.
Libero Raeshel Andrews led Wayne with 10 digs and 2 aces, adding 2 assists. Caitlyn Pruiett had 2 assists and 2 digs.
In the second match, the Lady Falcons came back after a first set loss to beat Nodaway Valley in a nail biter 2-1: 23-25, 25-23 and 15-13.
Birkland led the team with 7 kills, adding 3 digs and 1 ace on perfect service. Fortune had 5 kills, 7 digs, and 1 ace and led Wayne with 16 assists. Austin had 5 kills, 3 assists, 7 digs and 2 blocks.
Norris had 3 kills, while Gassman had 1 kill, 2 digs and was a perfect 14 for 14 on serves.
Andrews again led Wayne with 10 digs and 3 aces. Freeman had 8 digs, 2 aces and 1 kill. Pruiett had 2 digs.
Wayne was coming off a successful home tournament on Oct. 8 in which they finished 3-1.
For the season, Austin leads Wayne with 136 kills. Birkland has 101 kills, Fortune 54, Norris 40, Freeman 33, Gassman 20, Andrews 9, Kari Holt 7 and sophomore Bayleigh Kellis 4.
Fortune is by far the teamís assists leader with 241.
Fortune also leads for most aces with 39, with other Lady Falcons in double figures being Andrews with 27 aces, Austin 24, Birkland 17 and Freeman 15. Gassman has the best service percentage at .958.
Austin has the most blocks on the year with 22, followed by Birkland with 15, Fortune with 8 and Freeman with 5.
Andrews as libero leads Wayne with the most digs with 249, followed by Austin with 151, Freeman 119, Birkland 79, Pruiett 72, Fortune 56, Norris 34, Gassman 16, Holt 6, and Kellis 4.
Despite a lack of height, the girls have fought to a 10-11 record.
The Lady Falcons will face Moravia in the first round of the postseason on Tues., Oct. 18, 7 p.m. at home.