IKM-Manning’s Caitlin Muhlbauer (center) and Gabby Cadwell block an attack by Underwood’s Megan Freese during Thursday’s 3-1 Eagles victory. Gabby Cadwell hits over the Underwood tandem of Lauren Brown (10) and Peyton Cook (8) for one of her 17 kills on the night. (Photos by Mike Oeffner) IKM-Manning senior Sammy Halbur receives an Underwood serve. Senior Hanna Mullen serves for IKM-Manning.

Underwood outlasts Wolves in competitive four-setter

 MANNING (Sept. 27) -- In a WIC showdown between two evenly-matched volleyball teams, IKM-Manning had its chances in the final two sets but couldn’t get over the hump in a 3-1 home loss to Underwood Thursday night, falling 12-25, 25-15, 20-25, 22-25.
 The Wolves are now 12-10 overall (3-4 in the Western Iowa Conference). Underwood, which has won 10 of its last 11 matches, improved to 15-10 overall and 6-1 in the WIC.
 Although disappointed with the loss, IKM-Manning coach Kathy Lage did see some positives on Thursday.
 “The enthusiasm - kind of the desire and will to win - was (better) tonight,” she said. “We came out and played totally different than what we did against Tri-Center [on Tuesday]. We were very defeated after that match as we should have been, because of the way we played, but I thought the girls were much more aggressive tonight. Kids were hitting the floor after balls (like) I’ve never seen.”
 After allowing 15 aces in a lopsided three-set loss to T-C, the Wolves gave up just one ace serve by the Eagles but also had just one of their own.
 The final two sets were both tightly contested, featuring a combined 26 ties (15 in three, 11 in four).
 The one-two punch of sophomores Macy Vanfossan (18 kills) and Zoe Rus (15) proved tough to stop for Underwood. Both hitters scored in bunches and finished with kill efficiencies over .300. Senior Megan Freese added five blocks to go along with three kills.
 Cadwell finished with 17 kills and a .303 efficiency for IKM-Manning, followed by Halbur with eight kills (.250), Sydney Wegner six and Caitlin Muhlbauer five. Cadwell also had 12 digs - second to Emily Kerkhoff’s 16 - and served 9-for-9.

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