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Toppers gain experience in early volleyball action

Although wins were in short supply for the Glenwood City volleyball team in its opening action of the 2015 season last week, the young squad did gain some quick varsity experience with five matches in a three-day span.

The Hilltopper netters started off the season at the Menomonie Invitational last Tuesday, August 25 with matches against four area schools – all larger than Glenwood City.

Unfortunately, Glenwood City was not able to pick up a game or match win as it fell to conference rival Mondovi, Prescott, Barron and host Menomonie to end the evening 0-4.

“It was a tough night,” Christa Blaser, Glenwood City’s second-year head coach said. “We encountered some good teams, but it was a good experience for the ladies.”

Just two days later, Glenwood City traveled north to face Chetek-Weyerhaeuser in a non-conference. The Hilltoppers fell heartbreakingly short of victory when they lost the match 3-2 to the Bulldogs on August 27.

“Although we came out with a loss for the night, it was a great boost for our girls to be able to maintain and win a couple of games,” said Blaser, whose charges lost by a mere two points in the fifth and decisive game.

Menomonie Invitational

The Hilltoppers opened the season and Menomonie Invitational against Dunn-St. Croix foe Mondovi. The Lady Buffaloes took down the Hilltoppers quickly in the opening game, 6-25. Glenwood’s young players gave a much better accounting in the second game but again found itself on the short side of a 16-25 score.

Prescott proved to be a tough round two opponent as the Cardinals posted a pair of wins against the Toppers by scores  of 7-25 and 10-25.

After a bye, the Hilltoppers drew the Golden Bears of Barron. The respite did not help the Toppers as it lost two straight, 6-25 and 9-25, to the Heart O’ North squad.

Glenwood City wrapped up the evening’s schedule with a match against host Menomonie. The Mustangs sent the Hilltoppers home winless after dispatching them 9-25 and 13-25 in the final two games.

Despite finishing 0-8, Blaser noted that the invitational did afford her an opportunity to use several different players and to see what combinations worked well together.

Chetek-Weyerhaeuser

What a difference a few days can make.

After dropping all eight of its games in Menomonie to finish 0-4 just two days prior, Glenwood City went back on the road and  pushed Chetek-Weyerhaeuser to the brink before narrowly falling to defeat in the fifth and final game Thursday, August 27.

The Bulldogs took games one and three with the Hilltoppers claiming victories in the second and fourth games to force a fifth and deciding game which Chetek-Weyerhaeuser won by a slim 13-15 count.

Coach Blaser said that the team focused on its new defense and used its core group of varsity players – Abby Kremer and Becca Moll in the middle, Jenessa Klinger and Mariah Voeltz as lefts and Carlee Strong and Megan Speiser as the setters – with good success.

In the first game, C-W claimed a narrow 21-25 win. Carlee Strong had a pair of kills in the game while junior Becca Moll and freshman Abby Kremer each contributed a kill. Moll also had a block kill and Jenessa Klinger lead in serves.

Glenwood City rebounded and dominated play in the second game, winning 25-8. Sophomore Mariah Voeltz registered a pair of kills in the game while Strong added another. Moll had 18 successful serves in the win including six aces.

Chetek-Weyerhaeuser turned the tables to take a 2-1 lead with a 18-25 victory in the game three. Kremer had two kills with Strong, Klinger, Moll and Voeltz each registering one.

Glenwood City flipped the score around in game four as it took a 25-18 win as Klinger led the way with ten service winners including seven aces.

The fifth set was close throughout but the host Bulldogs secured the final two points to win the game and match 15-13.

The Toppers’ will log plenty of miles over the next few weeks with five more road matches. This Thursday, September 3, Glenwood City will be in Ellsworth for a triangular before finishing the week at the Spring Valley Invitational on Saturday, September 5. Then the team will be in Cumberland for a quad on September 8, a tournament at Chippewa Falls McDonell on September 12 before opening conference play at Colfax on Tuesday, September 15.

The Toppers’ home opener is set for Thursday, September 17 against Elk Mound.