Wolves Defeat Bulldogs in Straight Sets
A heavyweight Packerland Conference volleyball match took place Tuesday night as the Peshtigo Bulldogs hosted the state-ranked Algoma Wolves. Both teams entered the night unbeaten in conference play, with Algoma registering as the 7th ranked team in the division 3 WVCA Coaches Poll.
Game 1 went back-and-forth as both teams came out of the gates firing. Emma Frederickson and Grace Wickman recorded two straight blocks for the Bulldogs to give them a 9-7 lead. Algoma struck back with three straight kills and two Bulldog hitting errors gave the Wolves a 12-9 advantage, forcing a Peshtigo timeout. Peshtigo brought the game within two points after Madi Martin drilled a kill past three Wolves' blockers, but Algoma responded with six straight points to ice the game. Algoma swiped game one 25-14.
The Wolves kept the momentum in game two as five of the first six points were secured by Algoma for a 5-1 lead. Keeping nearly every Bulldog hit in play, Algoma used their defense to fuel their offense. After Peshtigo narrowed the lead to 6-3, the Wolves went on another run, this time 12-5, pushing the lead to 18-8. Algoma took a commanding two games to zero lead with a 25-13 win.
"They're a very good defensive team, and offensive team, we have to give them on the other end too. Their offense was a lot faster than what we had been used to seeing," said Peshtigo head coach Robin Gilligan.
With their backs against the wall, Peshtigo played some of their best volleyball of the night. Algoma held a 9-8 lead when they went on a 4-0 run for one of their largest leads of the final game. Not giving up, the Bulldog defense showed grit as Wickman recorded two consecutive diving digs right on the net, the second found its way to the floor on Algoma's side. Middle hitters Martin and Frederickson found pace in the final game, blocking many of the Wolves' hits. After a powerful Bulldog hit, Algoma saved the point with a save into the stands. Frederickson nullified Algoma's efforts with a block at the net, bringing Peshtigo with two, 19-17. Frederickson then blocked two Wolves' hits with the second falling to the floor, bringing the lead to 20-18.
"That's what we were missing in the other two games." Coach Gilligan added about their net play towards the end, "I told them to just focus on blocking, even if it takes them out of swinging, I want you focused on blocking getting to your spot as quickly as you can. They did a great job at the end."
Unfortunately for Peshtigo, this was as close as they would get, as Algoma went on a 5-1 run to finish the game with a 25-19 win, completing the sweep.
Danielle Lemke led the Bulldogs with 11 assists, while Grace Wickman recorded six kills and Madi Martin added four. Libero Gabby Perry showed solid defensive work, pacing the team with 17 digs, Mackenzie Morris chipped in with 15 and Wickman added 14.
"I told the girls we progressively got better as the night went on. I was very happy with how they ended that last game, because they showed they could do it. It was just a matter of getting our timing down, playing as a team and having confidence," Coach Gilligan said of the way the Bulldogs finished.
The Wausaukee Rangers took a three set sweep of the Lena Wildcats Thursday night, 25-22. 25-16 and 25-20.
For the Wildcats Brianna Sylvester got eight kills and an ace while Ally Demmith registered five kills two aces and an assist. Makayla Bushmaker got 24 assists.
Wausaukee was led by Courtney Messar with 12 kills, 23 digs, one assist and two aces. Kaelyn Schlies posted seven kills and two digs while Callie Orlando got five digs, one kill and 15 assists.
The Oneida Nation Thunderhawks took a tough four set win over the St. Thomas Aquinas Cavaliers thursday night 19-25, 25-23, 25-15 and 25-14.
Kiana Bulin had seven kills and one ace for the Cavaliers while Millie Benson chipped in five kills, seven digs and 13 assist. Alexa Pristelski posted two kills, three blocks and seven digs.
Oneida's Tierra Barber led with nine kills while Lexandria Metoxen got six aces. Isalena Torres chipped in 21 assists.
The St. Thomas Aquinas Cavaliers were on point Saturday afternoon as they battled their way to a 2-0 readout in a volleyball triangular with NEWCAA and Goodman/Pembine. STAA took their first win against NEWCAA 25-22, 25-20 and 25-12 and won their second contest against G/P 25-10, 25-8 and 25-9.
STAA was led by Beth Paul with 12 kills and seven aces. Mille Benson got 12 kills, seven aces and 21 assists while Halle Beranek posted 13 aces which included an overwhelming 19 consecutive points against Pembine.
Victory Over Suring
The Niagara Badgers came away from Niagara Tuesday night with a five set win. Suring started with a win 27-25 before defeating Niagara 25-17 for a two set lead. Niagara fired back with 25-14 and 25-15 set wins before Niagara put the game away 16-14.
The Badgers were led by Jasmine Racine with 14 kills, four blocks, 11 digs, nine assists and two aces. Allison Wells got five kills, one block, two assists, six digs and two aces.
Wylee VanBellinger bagged 12 kills, 20 digs and eight aces. Nikki Niemann posted10 kills, two blocks, 28 digs, one assist and one ace.
Vikings in Sweep
Thursday evening the Peshtigo Bulldogs traveled to Gibraltar to take on the Vikings in a Packerland Conference matchup. The long bus ride didn't slow down the Bulldogs as they won all three sets by scores of 25-14, 25-16 and 25-18.
Peshtigo's Shae Tonn led the defensive effort with 22 digs, Grace Wickman finished with 19 and Gabby Perry added 16. Danielle Lemke set up her hitters for 23 assists, Tonn benefitted from those sets recording 12 kills and Wickman had six.
Coleman Defends Home
Court Against Niagara
Thursday evening the Coleman Cougars played host to M&O foe Niagara for volleyball bragging rights. The Badgers jumped out early to a game 1 win, 25-21. From there, Coleman gained all of the momentum and never gave it up, winning the next three sets, 25-15, 25-19 and 25-20.
"That's huge," said Cougar coach Christine Nowak of the win. "We finally started working as a team out there. We were always a good team, we just never worked as a team. Now we're working as a team and this is how we play. This is how we should play and will play the rest of the season."
Annabelle Kotecki did a bit of everything for Coleman, leading the team in kills with 12, digs with 10, and blocks with 2. Brooklyn Seals added eight kills and Maria Nowak chipped in four. Beth Gannigan led the team in assists with 10 while Abigail Marquardt recorded eight.
"They are doing what they are capable now. At the beginning of the season they weren't getting the job done. Now, they're getting the job done and their shoulders are back and their heads are up. It's amazing to see," said Coach Nowak.
Niagara's net attack was led by Cassie Gill who recorded seven kills and two blocks, Jasmine Racine and Allison Wells each pitched in with three. Abigail McCarthy's 11 assists were tops on the team, while Wells paced the team with 16 digs.
"We started out game one strong. The rest of the match was plagued by missed serves, passing errors and lack of hustle. Coleman out-hustled us and wanted it more than we did," said Niagara coach Carol St. Arnauld. "It's frustrating to play like we did Tuesday night against Wausaukee, only to play like we did tonight and lose to a team that we beat earlier this season. My only hope is that we learn from our mistakes and play up to our potential this weekend."
Coleman Gaining M&O
Momentum, Sweep Lena
Tuesday evening the Lena Wildcats played host to the Coleman Cougars in an M&O volleyball matchup. Needing every bit of games one and two, Coleman narrowly edged the home team by scores of 25-23 and 26-24. In the final game, the Cougars completed the sweep 25-16.
Annabelle Kotecki led the Coleman net attack with nine kills, three blocks and five aces, Brooklyn Seals added six and Maria Nowak had three. Abigail Marquardt paced the Cougars with seven assists, while three Cougars were tied with five digs.
The Wildcats were paced in kills by Brianna Sylvester and Kaylee Huberty, each had four, while Alayna Peterson, Meckenna Portier and Ally Demmith all recorded three. Makayla Bushmaker posted eight assists and Maddy Herald pitched in seven.
STAA in Straight Sets
The Cavaliers of St. Thomas Aquinas Academy traveled to Stockbridge for a nonconference matchup. STAA battled through a tough environment, but fell 25-23, 25-20 and 25-16 to Stockbridge in three sets.
"All-around gritty play by the Cavvies in a Stockbridge gym with boisterous home cheering. The girls are learning they are capable of great runs of hard earned points. I am enthused with their improvements at this stage," said STAA coach Katie Benson.
STAA's Millie Benson recorded a solid all-around game with eight aces, four kills and nine assists. Alexa Pristelski added five kills and a block, while Kianna Bulin pitched in seven assists.
Sweep Over Lakers
The Goodman-Pembine Patriots took to the road to take on the White Lake Lakers in a Northern Lakes contest. Early and often the Patriots took control, sweeping the Lakers 25-17, 25-12 and 25-16.
"I was very pleased with the way we moved the ball around and had a very balanced attack against a very determined and scrappy young team." Patriot coach John Swick added, "I felt like our decision making was much better and we communicated very well. This was a much-needed conference win and the girls just continue to gel better every day."
Rachel Braaten recorded eight kills for the Patriots, Mackenna Hirte and Katelyn Nelson each added six and Masy McLain pitched in five. Nelson and Kimberly Cole each posted four aces on the evening.
Gillett in M&O Sweep
The Gillett Tigers played host to the M&O volleyball leaders, the Crivitz Wolverines, Tuesday night. Crivitz exerted their dominance from beginning to end, taking three wins, 25-13, 25-12, and 25-14.
Emalee Johnsen led the Wolverines with six kills and five blocks and Allison Zorn followed with three kills. Taylor Bemis recorded eight assists, Abby Barley posted seven digs and Morgen Gyger served up three aces.
Megan Wolfe recorded another solid all-around match with 22 digs, six assists, five aces, two kills and a block for Gillett. Sophia Horsens also posted six assists and eight digs. Faith Sorlie, Grace Wickman, and Willow Pecha each smashed three kills.
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