TUESDAY, Oct. 5, 2021


         BUFFALO – Despite essentially being overmatched in their first outing of the day, the Altoona-Midway Middle School volleyball team kept its composure and competitive spirit intact, bouncing back to win a three-set thriller in the nightcap and earning a split during a home triangular Monday evening at Milo Peterson Gymnasium.

         The Lady Jets were upended by a talented squad from Edna Middle School 25-8, 25-9 in their opener. But AMMS regrouped and posted a dramatic three-set victory over Oswego Middle School, 25-21, 22-25, 15-11.

         “The mental strength of these seven girls is amazing,” said Lady Jets head coach Nikki Almond. “That is the main factor in our improvement this season. It keeps them going, and it is going to take them far in their future volleyball seasons.”

         AMMS vs. Edna

         Edna dominated the opening match, posting the 25-8, 25-9 triumph. But Almond was still impressed with the effort and mental toughness of her squad.

         “This was such a hard game. We saw some serves and hits from Edna that we hadn't faced yet this season,” Almond noted. “But the girls stayed in there and kept fighting until the end and I am proud of them for that.

“Even when we were under 10 points and Edna needed just a couple more points to close things out, my girls were still trying for every point and that's all a coach can ask.”

Sandra Morales managed blasted two kills and Alexis Foudray ripped an ace for AMMS. Abby Relph recorded two digs while Foudray, Chantal Morales, and Hadlee Pupanek added one apiece.

AMMS vs. Oswego

The nightcap was nip-and-tuck all the way. The Lady Jets won the first set 25-21; got down early in the second set and rallied before eventually falling 22-25; then closed out the third set tiebreaker 15-11.

“What a nail-biter,” exclaimed Almond. “We were down 1-7 at the start of the second set and caught ourselves back up.  The girls are really starting to take care of the ball and focus on each pass. Our setters are getting better at the net and we are getting more setups to hit the ball.”

Relph pounded out three kills and Foudray added one, while Pupanek laced three aces, the Morales sisters notched two each, and Foudray added another. Harmony McFarland, Chantel Morales, and Foudray all logged digs.

After having previously won four-of-five matches, the Lady Jets had suffered four losses in a row before snapping that skein with the victory over Oswego.

“It’s been a roller coaster season, that’s for sure,” Almond noted. “But if these girls keep their mental toughness and this mindset of not giving up, they will do great things in the future. I have a great group.”   

Altoona-Midway, now 5-7 on the year, remains at home this week to host a quadrangular event on Thursday. Schools participating will include Thayer, Tyro Christian School, and Liberty Homeschool Alliance of Chanute. Matches begin at 5 p.m.