Estherville Lincoln Central had some good play against Cherokee in the teams' final match of the regular season on Thursday. But the Midgets didn't quite have enough as the Braves won 25-22, 25-12 and 25-13.
ELC rallied from five points down in the firs set to tie the match at 22-22 on one of Megan Jensen's five kills. But an ELC service error and two kills by the Braves-the last coming on an overpass of the serve-ended that game.
In the second game, ELC was playing tough and taking advantage of Cherokee errors to take an 11-9 lead.
But ELC suddenly began to struggle-mostly with serve reception-as the Braves rattled off 13 straight points and finished with a 16-1 run.
The big blow to ELC's offense came in that second set when setter Joslyn Moore fell awkwardly and came up hobbling. She finished that game, but sat out the third game as Caitlyn Clayton took over setting duties. ELC's offense could never quite get in a flow.
Jensen and Clayton led ELC with five kills apiece. Rachel Lambert had 1 /2 blocks while Clayton had one.
Jensen had 15 digs while Clayton had 11 and Gruhlke had seven. Gruhlke and Lambert each had one ace serve.
ELC (11-18 overall) travels to Sheldon on Monday to face the Class 3A No. 2 Orabs in the first-round of the playoffs.