Cougars Denied Sectional Berth, Four Other Area Teams Move On
Goodman-Pembine Tales On Suring In D-4 SemifinalMatch
With the post-season volleyball tournament heading to the sectional level, four TIMESland teams remain alive.
In Division 2, Bay Conference champion Oconto Falls entertains Notre Dame in the semifinals Thursday with the winner heading to Seymour Saturday for the title clash.
Division 3 action will find Oconto, which finished second at state last year, taking on Lourdes Academy at Ashwaubenon Thursday in the semis with the finals Saturday at Auburndale.
The D-4 sectional semifinals has Goodman-Pembine of the Northern Lakes Conference taking on Suring at Gillett Thursday. The winner will head to Marathon Saturday for the championship clash.
Suring earned a sectional berth with a 25-11, 26-24 and 25-8 sweep of Oconto County rival Gillett.
Looking ahead to a match against Suring in the sectional semifinals Thursday at Gillett, Goodman-Pembine coach Ashley Kalkofen commented...I believe Pembine has never made it to regional finals, but Goodman has been there maybe two times, but did not win. It was 40 years ago that we won in 1973.
-Division 2 Results-
Oconto Falls Sweeps
Seymour, Gains Finals
Another huge performance by senior standout McKenna Larsen enabled the Oconto Falls gals to sweep Seymour 25-17, 25-18 and 25-15 in the semifinals. Larsen collected 23 kills, 18 digs, 17 assists and two aces for her nights work.
Carly Lemke added 17 kills and 2 blocks while McKayla Johnson and Liz Manns combined for 29 digs.
Panthers Claim Title,
Earn Sectional Berth
Hosting Wrightstown in the regional finals Saturday, Oconto Falls continued its dominance with a 25-15, 25-21 and 25-22 sweep.
McKenna Larsen paced the sectional bound Panthers with 24 kills, 15 assists and 20 digs; Carly Lemke 16 kills and 4 blocks; Liz Watzka 19 assist, 9 digs and two aces while Alyssa Nelson added 11 digs and a pair of aces.
-Division 3 Results-
Disaster struck early Thursday evening in Coleman as the Cougars saw one of their best players leave the floor in the opening game and not return to action the rest of the way against Bonduel in regional action.
Lindsey Kerr, Coleman's assist leader and unquestionably one of the best athletes in the area, turned in four assists before injuring her knee. This unfortunate turn of events seemed to have a profound impact on the play of the Cougars, who were noticeably distracted on the floor during the period of time in which Kerr was in the locker room being evaluated by medical staff.
But the Coleman crew managed to keep its composure and, despite a setback in game two, went on to defeat the Bears in convincing fashion 25-21, 25-27, 25-19, 25-13.
"She's very, very important to what we're doing out there," said Cougars head coach Samantha Stickney when asked about what the loss of Kerr does to her team's play. "Lindsey is the heart and soul of our team, she's a leader. But we couldn't change what we were doing. We practice playing with different lineups just in case something like this happens. We had to push through and play our game."
After dropping the opening game, the Bears came out swinging in the second frame. The score went back and forth but the Cougars were not able to get ahead and, at one point in the game, Bonduel looked like it might run away with it. But Coleman made it close, thanks largely to a spectacular play from Tess Rosner, who got off of her feet and horizontal in the air to return a hard shot by a Bonduel player. It was a strike that by all rights should have deflated the Coleman girls further but Rosner's return somehow found open floor on the other side of the net for a point that sparked the Cougars back into action as they nearly came back for a win in the second.
"I didn't worry about losing the second game much," said Stickney. "I don't mind giving up a few points and a close game, as long as we come out fired up in the next game. And we did. We came out ready to play."
That momentum seemed to stay with the Cougars the rest of the way as they took control of the match and won the next two frames to close out the evening.
Crystal Sotka did a fantastic job of stepping in for the injured Kerr as she tallied 27 assists and 11 digs in her first varsity outing as the team's primary setter. Makenzie Sadowski was, as usual, devastating at the net with her 10 blocks and eight kills to go along with four aces and two digs; Lily Cornelius had two aces, two kills, three blocks, an assist and two digs while Abby Bieber also made things extremely difficult for the Bonduel girls as she notched 15 kills, two aces, a block and 12 digs.
Oconto Cruises Past
Laona-Wabeno In D-3
A big effort by Laken James kept the volleyball season alive for Oconto with a 25-23, 25-22 and 25-17 semifinal sweep of visiting Laona-Wabeno.
James collected 16 kills, 17 digs and 4 blocks ; Carlee Behnke 9 kills and 4 blocks while Emily Shallow added 26 assists and 8 digs.
The Oconto Blue Devils took advantage of a wounded Coleman squad Saturday evening and got out of town with a convincing 25-15, 25-23, 25-19 win. The host Cougars were without setter Lindsey Kerr, who injured her knee early in Thursday's victory over Bonduel.
"It was a tough way to lose. We're a better team than that," said Coleman boss Samantha Stickney. "Our girls left their hearts out there on the floor though. They didn't quit. They made some mistakes but we fought back. They are a great group, they play with everything they've got and I really couldn't ask for a better team."
The Cougars were led on the evening by seven blocks, seven kills and an ace from Makenzie Sadowski, who was a big part of some thrilling action at the net as she squared off time and time again against the powerful right arm of Oconto's Laken James, one of the area's most prolific hitters.
Crystal Sotka again did an admirable job setting the ball in place of the injured Kerr as she turned in 16 assists, four digs and two aces; Abby Bieber had five kills and nine digs; Sammy Schaal turned in an ace, a kill, two assists and seven digs while Lily Cornelius notched an ace, four kills, nine blocks and a dig.
"Our seniors are going to be missed," said Stickney of the upcoming loss of seniors Kerr, Sadowski, Bieber Schaal, Sotka, Brooke Pashek, Tia Sweeney and Kristan Bornick. "They're the core of this team, tremendous athletes. We were a family, are a family. The seniors held it together for us many times."
-Division 4 Results-
Suring Beats Bowler
The Eagles of Suring welcomed the Bowler netters to town Thursday in D-4 regional play and then quickly sent them packing thanks to a 25-17, 25-16, 25-10 win to advance to Saturday's final.
Suring got seven digs, six assists and two aces from Breanna Tienor; eight assists, 10 digs and an ace from Kelsey School; two aces nine kills and six digs from Calley VanBellinger; four digs and seven aces by Mackenzi LaMarre and three digs, three blocks, a kill and an ace from Erin Fisher.
Gillett Over Gresham
Netters In Four Games
The Tigers got big contributions from their top players Thursday at home against Gresham in Division 4 regional action and came up with the victory at 14-25, 25-21, 25-14, 25-18.
Brianna Lemirande led the way for Gillett with 16 kills, two blocks, three assists, 10 digs and three aces; Jessica Anderson had 24 assists, four digs and three aces; Lisa Schmidt had five kills, seven digs and nine aces while Taylor Kohls had eight kills, an assist and five digs.
Patriots Hold Off
Elcho In 4 Games
Looking to make some noise along the D-4 tournament trail, Goodman-Pembine beat up on Northern Lakes Conference foe Elcho 25-14, 22-25, 25-6, 25-14 Thursday in the regional semifinals. The post-season win put the Patriots in the finals Saturday against Florence.
Kayleigh Betka had seven kills and three aces; Courtney Goyak turned in nine kills and six blocks while Rachel Stankevich added eight aces and eight kills.
"Wow. What a great night," said Patriot head coach Ashley Kalkofen. "Now Saturday is the real challenge to see if we have what it takes to be on top. We're ready."
It was a dramatic Saturday of Division 4 volleyball as the Patriots managed to rebound from a rocky start to beat Florence 24-26, 17-25, 25-21, 25-9, 15-12 and claim the regional title.
"I told the girls before the game not to even think of losing, you've worked too hard to lose tonight," said Patriot coach Ashley Kalkofen. "Wow! I'm so proud of the girls. We've learned through the season how to come back from two losses and that worked to our advantage tonight. We weren't tired in that fourth game. We will make our Northern Lakes proud in sectionals."
Courtney Goyak led the way for the Falcons on Saturday with 16 kills, 11 block assists and two solo blocks; Rachel Stankevich had 12 kills and four blocks; Marissa Moloney had 57 assists and Kayleigh Betka added six kills.
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