Many teams played this weekend with high finishes all around!
12 Red took home 2nd place in the Wisconsin Juniors Challenge on Sunday! We started out the day playing back-to-back-to-back matches. The early morning started out slow with us losing set 1, but we woke up to win 6 straight sets finishing 3-0 in pool play.
We implemented a few new strategies throughout the day that we had worked on in practice. We were serving zones and our backrow players making defensive switches.
The girls continue to learn more and more about the game and the importance of confidence throughout an entire match.
The 1st place finish in our pool advanced us to the championship match vs. a solid Rolling Thunder team. We took set 1 but then miscommunication and serve receive breakdown ultimately got the best of us and we fell 2-1.
This past weekend, 13 Red played in the Prep Dig Championships. Day 1 was full of dominant play as we beat 3 teams without dropping a set. It was great for us to work on our offense and use more of our hitters. Taking first place in our pool, we moved onto the gold bracket for day 2. Once again, we played a solid 2 sets to win the quarterfinal match and move onto the semifinal. Unfortunately, things weren’t as smooth in the semifinal match. We dropped the first set due to making a few too many unforced errors. The girls battled back to convincingly win the 2nd set. The third set came down to extra points but didn’t swing in our favor. Dropping the third set 15-17, we finished the weekend in 3rd place. Our serve receive and defense really carried us through the weekend and led to a lot of long rallies! We were working on taking more aggressive swings which did improve but still has room to grow. Our ball control was much greater than the prior weekend which was awesome to see! Congrats to 13 Red on a 4-1 weekend!
#Shoutout to Liberty for earning a serving pin!
#Shoutout to Sunny for earning an overpass pin!
#Shoutout to Brooke for earning the tournament MVP. She was solid for us in the back row, rarely letting the other teams get kills on her. She also has been working very hard on her precision with giving out of system balls to our hitters!
The girls had a wonderful week of practice leading up to the Prep Dig Champions Cup in Appleton after a tough Sunday at the Badger Region Qualifier where we ran out of some steam.
We entered the event in Appleton on Saturday as the top seed and we finished that way on Sunday Afternoon. Despite that seeding, we didn't play as clean or as focused as we could, but our consistent setting and serving runs always kept us ahead by a comfortable margin, leading us to a top finish in our pool.
On Sunday, we were much better from the beginning. The girls came with more infectious energy and we began our march towards the finals against a Milwaukee Juniors team who we had beaten twice before, but also was able to push us, and if we slipped up, could beat us. We cruised to a comfortable set 1 win playing our best ball of the weekend. It was tight early, but Ana Degner became very aggressive on the outside in the middle of that set, and helped us open up a comfortable lead that we took to the end. Set 2 was a more back and forth affair. Our opponents would certainly not give up and that proved to be the case as we found ourselves behind by a couple of points for most of the set. After a timeout at 19-23, Ana Degner once again took control and served aggressively with nothing to lose (couple of aces) and this proved to be too much for our opponents to handle as we were able to capitalize on a couple of freeballs and sealed the win on a longer rally that included an amazing dig from Morgan Vetter, a backrow attack from Isabel Hilgart, and a match sealing block from Hannah Heitzkey, to win 25-23.
A couple of collective highlights came from our atypical servers because we ran out of subs or another player was struggling a bit. Abby B, Maddie K., Isabel H., and Avery P., served a combined 42 times and missed only 1 serve, with 12 aces! Millie Kreif had 25 aces herself, and Ana Degner had a kill percentage of 51! Our middles, Grace and Lauren, were consistent and had a combined kill percentage of 40. The setters, Sierra H. and Milli K, delivered 227 sets in the 2 days.
We are definitely ready to chase the Badger Region Championship title in 2 weeks!
14 White | 3-0 | 1st Place
14White played in the Jr Challenge this weekend with an extremely early morning session. The girls started strong with 2 comfortable pool play wins, putting us into the Gold finals vs East Troy Jr's 14-1. Set 1 of the finals was very up and down... A shaky start (down 0-7), followed by a big comeback (up 18-10), and ultimately hanging on to win 25-23. Pulling out the win helped us settle down, we took control early in the 2nd set to win 25-26. The girls finished undefeated and earned their first championship of the season!
Since the last Power League, we've talked a lot about the mental side of volleyball. Not letting 1 error snowball for the rest of the game, adopting a "next play" mindset and learning how to make small but meaningful adjustments as a team. An 0-7 start would not have ended well 2 weeks ago, this weekend they found a way to push through with a championship on the line. A great confidence booster as we start prepping for Badger Region Champs and Power League finals.
Everyone has strong performances this weekend, but our tournament MVP goes to Malia. Great job creating early leads from the service line, and bringing more balance in our set distribution!
15 Red | 4-1 | 3rd Place
This was the right step forward for our team! We showed up on Saturday and completely dominated our pool! We kept our missed serves to an all time low and some players had season high serving streaks! Eden found her groove on her jump float and picked up her first serving pin! She almost had two pins but was one ace short that match. Molly was causing all the coaches to use their timeouts as she picked up many aces and almost picked up 10 aces in a single match!
#Shoutout to Lizzy for a superb day one performance. She became the hot hand that was fun to watch as she crushed balls left and right!
Day two we new was going to be a step up but we had our eye on going the distance! We matched up with an FC Elite team and it was a close match and we played up with dominating force from all our hitters. The semi-finals re ran into FVP that displayed a grit we haven't seen before. We would crush the ball of their bodies but they managed to keep sending right back to us. This caused a frustration on our end and inevitably gave us our first lose. FVP end up winning the tournament so we took a solid 3rd place this weekend.
#Shoutout to Eden for being voted by her team as tournament MVP. This is her 2nd MVP this year! :)
15 Gold | 4-1 | 2nd Place
15 Gold played in Green Bay this past Sunday and did an amazing job! The girls worked hard and placed in the gold bracket, losing the final game of the night we placed 2nd in the tournament! We are so proud of the effort the girls have been putting in.
16 Red | 5-0 | 1st Place
We came into the tournament as the #1 seed and absolutely took care of business. We went 5-0 in matches and didn’t drop a single set. We played a very mentally strong brand of volleyball almost all of the time and when things fell apart it was very short lived and we worked even harder to get back to playing our style and speed. Due to us running on all cylinders we never gave up more than 20 points to an opponent and 60% of the time held our opponents to 16 or less. A huge shout out to our duo of liberos Greta Vorpahl and Gabby Weyde for playing stellar defense and consistently passing beautiful balls to our setters. This was truly a team win as all 11 athletes contributed in their own way, even if it didn’t show up in the stat sheet. Our middles did a great job of holding blocks to help our pin attackers have big days. When we need a play someone always stepped up and got it done for us. There were a bunch of pin recipients over the weekend. For overpass kills we had Kathryn Urban with 3 and Lillie Merow, and Anna Holzer each earning 1. Greta Vorpahl earned an ace pin with a whopping 9 aces in one match! We look to keep things rolling as we head into our third consecutive weekend of big tournaments, this time in downtown Milwaukee for the Badger Region Championships. We enter as the #2 seed and already have a victory over the #1 team. This team is rolling and a lot of fun to watch.
17 Red | 3-2 | 5th Place
This weekend, 17 Red played in Appleton at the Prep Dig Champions Cup! They ended with a record of 3-2, making it to the gold bracket on Sunday.
On Saturday, the team faced VVVBC 17 Purple, Wisconsin Blaze 18 Black, and FC Elite 17 Blue. After starting the day with two solid wins, they fell to FC Elite.
Sunday rolled around and they began the day by playing I AM 18 Red. Though an unfortunate loss, the girls stepped up in many ways and really gave them a run for their money. In this match, Avery Smith hit at 0.500 and the team passed at a 1.7 – some of their best numbers of the season thus far. They ended the weekend with a win against FVP 18 National.
On the weekend, Amanda Hillmann had 12 aces, while Avery Smith, Emma Lober, and Natalie Sebo each had 7 apiece. Kate Boettinger had 23 digs and Elyse Karrels had 10 blocks. Though some very impressive individual performances, our MVP for the weekend is right-side hitter – Jenna Soerens. She hit 0.333, with 14 kills on 33 attempts.
17 Red walked out of the gym with confidence – knowing they played well but still have so much room for progress. They are excited to get back in the gym and compete again this coming weekend at Badger Region Championships!
18 Red | 5-2 | 2nd Place
18 Red played in the Prep Dig Champions Cup this past weekend. We have been battling through an extremely tough strength of schedule for the season so the team was excited to use those experiences towards being a favorite in the tournament. The past few weeks have been challenging because of injuries and extracurricular schedules but the girls continue to stick together.
On Day 1 we didn't play our best ball but were able to survive enough points to make it to Gold on Day 2. From the start of Day 2 we began to pick up momentum. We played with a lot more continuity. We were able to outlast our 17 Red team to start who played some of their scrappiest ball of the season against us. Next we played 262 Attack who beat us on Day 1. From start to finish we were able to control the first contact and net to beat them in 2, a big difference from our first time against each other. After beating FC Flyers in the semifinal with a very convincing set 2 win we were set to play WI Flight, another top seed in the tournament. Set 1 was back and forth the whole game but a few errors at the end put us in a whole. Once again in set 2, both teams battled but this time we were able to make some big defensive plays to take the match to 3. In third we got out to a big lead with solid serving and smart play. WI Flight continued to battle and through a few small runs we found ourselves in a tight match that went to extra points. The girls fought hard and the effort was there. However, at the end through some tentative play and miscommunication we were unable to finish. 2nd place is still a positive through all the obstacles we have fought through but this is unfortunately a missed opportunity and a tough lesson to learn. We need to have a championship and winning mentality when it means the most.
More challenges await this next weekend with Badger Region Championships. We hope to keep the same energy, effort, and team unity that we have been great at all year while we hope to come in the clutch in the winning moments.