By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – Sarah Ferin will have to wait a little while longer for career victory number one.
After Tuesday’s five-set loss to Williamsburg the first-year Solon head coach doesn’t think that wait will be a long one.
“It’s coming, it’s coming,” Ferin said of her first win as a head coach. “I hoping we get it on Thursday.”
A late Williamsburg rally kept Solon from giving Ferin her first career win in its home opener Tuesday.
The Raiders (3-4) won the final two sets to rally for a 21-25, 25-22, 20-25, 25-22, 15-10 win over Solon.
Solon got 16 kills from Grace Keith and 13 from Jess Heick but couldn’t hold on to a two sets to one lead while dropping its third consecutive match to open the season.
“I think we have so much potential,” Keith said. “We are starting to put the pieces together, we can be something special we just have to figure it out.”
All three Williamsburg players that logged double digit kills had three in the decisive fifth set as the Raiders completed their comeback.
Mickala Stallman finished with a team-high 14 kills to pace Williamsburg which bolted to a 10-5 lead in the fifth.
“I think we just kind of slowed up sometimes,” Ferin said. “We missed some serves and had a couple of net violations that just kind of swayed it their way.”
Solon trailed 11-5 in the opening set but rallied for a 25-21 win behind the play of sophomore Abby Smith.
Smith had three kills and a pair of ace blocks in the opening set to help Solon to an early advantage.
“I feel like we are so close,” senior libero Grace McCarty said. “After last week at the quad we knew what we needed to fix, that was our game plan and it kind of showed out here.”
Williamsburg tied the match with a 25-22 win in the second set but Solon responded with a 25-20 win in the third behind five kills from Heick.
The Spartans had a chance to put the match away in the fourth but saw a 20-19 lead slip away.
Williamsburg ended the fourth set on a 6-2 run to even the match and used an early 7-0 run in the fifth set to take control.
“I think the first two we had a lot of confidence at the end of the match of the match everyone is tired,” Keith said. “At the end of the day it’s a good battle but the last two we didn’t get it done.”
Smith finished with six kills and four ace blocks for Solon while sophomore Rachel Nelson had 32 assists.
Solon returns to action on Thursday with a WAMAC match at Anamosa before taking part in the Cedar Rapids Washington invite this weekend.
“We are building and I’d rather have our losses come now than at the end of the season,” Ferin said. “We want to just keep on building but it was definitely an improvement.”
Solon 25 22 25 22 10
Williamsburg 21 25 20 25 15
Jess Heick 13-0-0, Grace Keith 16-0-2, Tara Lance 0-1-0, Grace McCarty 0-1-0, Rachel Nelson 4-2-0, Paige Gallagher 5-0-0, Ali Diersen 0-2-0, Abby Smith 6-2-4, Taylor Noonan 2-0-0, 46-8-6. Assists – Rachel Nelson 32.
Caley Courneya 5-0-3, Brittni Gilbert 11-1-2, Molly Wetjen 13-2-0, Emily Simmons 5-1-0, Jazzmyn Newman 1-0-0, Talia McAtee 2-0-0, Mickala Stallman 14-1-1, Allison Watson 0-1-0, Team 51-6-4. Assists – Molly Wetjen 17, Mickala Stallman 16.