IKM-Manning libero Emily Kerkhoff strikes a serve during Tuesday’s match against Tri-Center. Wolves senior Peyton Gross (3) hits over T-C’s Ashlynn Eckrich. IKM-M setter Kia Rasmussen (1) finished with four assists vs. Tri-Center. (Photos by Mike Oeffner)

State-ranked Trojans hand Wolves third WIC loss

 MANNING (Sept. 26) -- The IKM-Manning volleyball team was highly competitive for one set Tuesday night but couldn’t match Tri-Center’s overall consistency in a 13-25, 21-25, 9-25 home loss to the 12th-rated (2A) Trojans.
 The Wolves, who also lost a three-setter at Missouri Valley last Thursday, dropped to 18-10 overall and 3-3 in the Western Iowa Conference - tied for fourth place with AHSTW and Logan-Magnolia.
 Following a one-sided opening set against T-C (16-2, 6-0 WIC), the Wolves played their best volleyball of the night in set two and went up 11-7 on a Sammy Halbur kill. The score was tied six times between 12-12 and 17-17 before the Trojans rattled off seven straight points and won 25-21.
 Tri-Center then scored the first five points of set three and never looked back.
 “They’re a very formidable team,” IKM-M coach Kathy Lage said of T-C.
 “The second set was a good set... and that’s kind of what I expected from the whole match was to (play) that tough. It was kind of disappointing.
 “We’re a very capable team, and I challenged the girls after the match to come with something (Wednesday) that’s going to help us be better as a team, because right now we’re just kind of in a lull and... going through the motions. In the second (set) I thought (the girls) picked up the energy and played a little bit better.”
 Sydney Wegner was the Wolves’ top kill getter on Tuesday with six, followed by Caitlin Muhlbauer with five and Peyton Gross with four (.286 efficiency).

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