“It’s a nice little reward and little bit of an incentive for all of us outside of the conference matches.”
Of course, Thursday’s unique three-team Metro tourney also provided the Bulldogs, Railsplitters and Indians with a weekday taste of any random weekend tournament. Both Ottumwa and Lincoln stepped right back on the floor after finishing a match with the Rails meeting OHS moments after losing in two games to Indianola.
“It was a little different, but I kind of liked being here early and watching the two teams playing before our first match,” Black said. “I think it gave us a little bit of momentum seeing those teams play and seeing what they did before we had to play either of them.”
The Bulldogs battle Des Moines Lincoln in a pair of tough games. After some early back-and-forth action, a five-point run spurred on the attacking of Black led to a 21-18 win in the opener. The OHS senior outside hitter had four of team-best six kills in the game, including three to rally Ottumwa from a 12-11 deficit.
“We played really well together,” Black said after leading the Bulldogs with 11 kills on the night. “Our passing, setting and hitting really meshed together. We connected well and we all kept good attitudes.”
Game two wasn’t quite as dramatic, though it was definitely another tight affair. OHS never trailed in the clincher after scoring the first three points of the game, but would up winning 21-16 after not leading by more than five points the rest of the match.
“Last time we played Lincoln, we went all five games with them,” Carson said. “It was nice to go ahead and finish them off in two and stay strong for the rest of the night.”
After stepping on the court as the fresh team against Lincoln (14-21, 2-4), Ottumwa had the task of turning right around to face an Indianola squad that the only break during the night. The Indians gained control early with five-straight points that helped open a 12-5 game one lead.