By Kelsie Hoitomt
This past week the Lady Hilltoppers had two conference contests with one in Elk Mound on Tuesday and then another on Thursday at home against Elmwood.
The Toppers faced off against a scrappy Elmwood team Thursday night and it ended up being a very evenly matched contest.
The Toppers lost their first set 25-20, but they went on to finish 27-25, 25-16 and 25-11 for their first conference win of the season and first win over the Raiders in two years.
In the first set, the Toppers led by three, but quickly fell behind for the loss after Justine Weix went on a serving run and her cousin Jennifer Weix laid down some forceful kills.
The Toppers regained their momentum in the second set with two service aces by Nikki Gabbert, a kill by Becca Moll and a block by Megan Samens to put their lead at 7-2.
A time out was called and that halted the Topper’s lead so soon the game was tied at 9’s.
Samens then had a kill and Mikaela Voeltz had two aces and Hannah Ludtke landed a tipped ball to bring the Toppers ahead 13-9.
Jenesa Klinger and Becca Moll both landed their attacks to put the Toppers three points away from victory and then with the help of Voeltz serving again they were at 24-23.
A few errors held the Toppers back from the win and the game was tied at 25’s before they pulled away.
The Raiders took a block and the ball went flying towards Klinger and she stopped herself and let the ball land out of bounds for the win of 27-25.
In the third set, the Toppers had the first point, but then they fell behind by three points before taking a led at 13-11.
Soon they were off with the score at 19-13 and then finally at 25-16 to put themselves one set away from victory.
The girls played their best game in the fourth set and the look of defeat was definitely on the Raider’s faces.
Errors allowed the Toppers to start with a 4-0 lead and soon 6-0 with a big hit by Klinger.
The Raiders scored their first point after the ball was hit into the net and then the score jumped up to 13-4 before the Toppers got into their groove again.
The Raiders continued to beat themselves up, which gave the Toppers the drive needed to win. With the help of a kill by Megan and an ace from Hannah, the Toppers were ahead 24-11.
Klinger swung hard at the ball and the force behind it bounced awkwardly off the arms of the Raider defender, which gave the Toppers the win and conference victory.
All together the Toppers had 27 kills with Samens collecting eight, Moll had seven, Klinger and Hannah each had four, Leslie Ludtke had three and Carlee Strong had one.
There was also 17 service aces and Klinger and Nikki Gabbert each had six, Voeltz and Hannah had two each and Strong had one.
Earlier in the week on Tuesday, the Toppers had their match against an aggressive Elk Mound team. The night ended in a three set loss of 25-8, 25-12 and 25-11.
The Toppers had just eight kills with two each from Moll, Samens and Hannah and then one from Voeltz and Klinger. Klinger also had the only ace.
The Toppers were at home on Tuesday, September 30 with a match against Spring Valley. They will be on the road Thursday (Oct 2) for a conference contest in Mondovi.