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Mounders’ volleyball team drops four at Eau Claire North, beats Plum City to even conference record

By Cara L. Dempski

Elk Mound’s volleyball squad had mixed results this past week.

After dropping all four of their matches in the Eau Claire North Invitational Saturday, September 17, the Lady Mounders rebounded nicely with a three set to nothing road sweep in Plum City Thursday, September 22.

The Mounders 25-10, 25-12 and 25-17 victory over the Blue Devils evened their Dunn-St. Croix mark at 1-1. The win also helped soothe the sting from Elk Mound’ losses at North the previous Saturday, where the Mounders were swept by Bloomer, Eau Claire Memorial and Osceola and beaten two sets to one by Thorp.

Elk Mound hosted Durand in a conference match last evening (September 27) and will travel to Boyceville Thursday (September 29) to play the league-leading Bulldogs. The Mounders will return home Tuesday, October 4 to host rival Colfax. The Mounders are currently 8-15 overall.

Eau Claire North

Samantha Weix’s varsity volleyball team played against four schools September 17 at Eau Claire North and lost to all of them.

The Mounders first match-up of the day was against Bloomer, who beat them 2-0 with scores of 25-18 and 25-15. Kourtney Zurbuchen led the team in kills for the match, taking credit for five of the total 16. Lauren Scharlau was right behind Zurbuchen, nailing four to the floor, while Riley Radtke put down another three.

Allie Weber spiked down another two, and Karie Jo Nigon and Colleen Olson each logged one attack each. Nigon is also credited with the only ace of the match.

Defensively, Jordyn Abramowicz turned away 14 attacks. Nigon and Weber also foiled the Blackhawks, taking another nine and six respective digs. Abby Curry and Olson each recorded three digs apiece, and Sarah Sweeney, Radtke and Scharlau each picked up two. Alex Jenson added one more to make a team total of 42.

Elk Mound then met Osceola and again dropped the match in two sets, 25-22 and 25-11. Radtke and Weber tied with fix kills each. Scharlau picked up two kills, as did Jenna Heit. Nigon and Olson each nailed one apiece.

Abramowicz nabbed two serve aces, and Sweeney picked up a team third. Sweeney also led the team defensively against the Chieftains, turning back eight attacks. She was joined in the defensive effort by Nigon with six digs, and Curry and Abramowicz with four each. The remainder of the team’s total 34 digs came from Scharlau, Radtke, Heit, Zurbuchen, Jenson and Olson.

Radtke and Weber each took credit for a block during the match.

Next up were the Old Abes of Eau Claire Memorial. Elk Mound again played a good first set, losing 25-22 before falling away to 25-12 in the second.

Weber led the team with kills, taking credit for five of the Mounders’ 20. Radtke, Heit, Scharlau and Olson split another 12 evenly among them, and Zurbuchen, Nigon and Cassidy Yakesh logged a kill each. Nigon and Jenson were each credited with an ace in the match.

The team leader for digs was Weber, taking nine of the team’s 33. Jenson recorded six more, and Nigon and Sweeney each took three. Heit, Zurbuchen and Olson took two each, and Curry and Yakesh picked up one each.

The Mounders’ last match-up for the day was against Thorp. Elk Mound won the first set 25-19 before fighting to a 26-24 loss in the second. The team appeared to have run out of steam in the third, losing 15-9.

Yakesh spiked in nine successful attacks during the match, and Scharlau nailed another eight. Zurbuchen added to the team total with her six, and Olson recorded four. Heit took credit for three kills in the match.

Scharlau led the team in aces, serving for four points, while Sweeney and Nigon grabbed another four points on two aces apiece.

Sixteen of Elk Mound’s 51 digs went to Scharlau, while Zurbuchen and Jenson met her total by splitting another 16 digs evenly. Sweeney and Nigon added another 12, and Heit, Olson and Yakesh put up another seven.

The only block of the game belonged to Zurbuchen.

Plum City

The Mounders went into their September 22 road match against the Blue Devils with a 0-1 record in the D-SC but returned home later that evening with a record of 1-1.

Elk Mound beat Plum City 25-10, 25-12 and 25-17 to claim their first conference victory of 2016. The team’s head coach, Samantha Weix, seemed pleased with how the Mounders played.

“We played a well-rounded match,” Weix said. “The girls were able to reduce the unforced errors and played in-system most of the night.”

Weix also noted that when the hitters kept the ball in play with good passes, it gave the offense more confidence to nail the ball to the floor.

Sophomore Morgan Radtke and junior Allie Weber accounted for 17 of Elk Mound’s 30 attacks, with Radtke drilling in nine kills and Weber putting down eight. Kourtney Zurbuchen and Lauren Scharlau tacked on another eight kills for the Mounders. The remaining five scoring attacks were credited to Karie Jo Nigon with two, and Riley Radtke, Abby Curry and Colleen Olson each nailing a kill.

Nigon provided 20 assists, while Madysen Borofka picked up seven, and Weber one for a team total 28. She also led the team in aces, scoring on three unanswered serves.

Also picking up serve aces were Weber and Sarah Sweeney, both of whom are credited with two aces. Curry added one more for a total of 8 unanswered points for Elk Mound.

Weber and Sweeney combined to foil 17 attacks, with Weber taking nine digs and Sweeney walking away with eight. Nigon joined in the fun to pick up seven digs, and Borofka, Curry and Morgan Radtke provided another five each. Scharlau added three more digs, and Riley Radtke, Alex Jenson and Zurbuchen combined to add six more.

“It was great to see the girls play with confidence and have fun,” Weix noted.