By Cara L. Dempski
In the second-to-last week before taking on Dunn-St. Croix foes, the Elk Mound volleyball team hosted a quad and then headed to Chippewa Falls for a tournament at McDonell Central.
The Lady Mounders flew past their first foe of the evening September 7 with a 2-0 win over Elmwood before facing Ellsworth for a second time this year. The Mounders repaid the Panthers for their 0-2 loss at the Menomonie Sprawl by taking a 2-0 win over the visiting team last Thursday.
[emember_protected] Elk Mound struggled to maintain focus and consistency against New Richmond in the final match of the quad, falling to the Tigers 0-2.
Coach Sam Stelter then took her team to Debbie Roesler Memorial Invitational at McDonell This past Saturday, September 9 for tournament play. The home squad beat the Mounders in straight sets, but then Elk Mound beat Blair-Taylor, Greenwood, Loyal and Osseo-Fairchild in straight sets to finish the day 4-1.
The Mounders entered this week with an 11-7 record. They will play in a tournament at Eau Claire North Saturday, September 16 before hosting the Plum City Blue Devils next Tuesday, September 19 in their conference opener.
It was almost a perfect night for Elk Mound September 7. Even with one loss, coach Sam Stelter is still happy with what she is seeing.
“Every day, I’m more and more excited about where this team is going to be at the end of the season,” she said. “These girls have been working hard to improve on their physical skill as well as their game mentality, and I really think their hard work paid off last night.”
The ladies blew past Elmwood 25-13 and 25-16, got their revenge on Ellsworth 25-17 and 25-16, and then faced the New Richmond Tigers.
The Lady Tigers proceeded to shut down Elk Mound’s offense for a 25-17 first-game win before sealing the deal by beating the Lady Mounders 25-19 in the second.
Mounder junior Morgan Radtke gave the Mounders game point in the first match against Elmwood’s Raiders with a spectacular block to send the ball back toward the unsuspecting Lady Raiders. She then helped the Elk Mound squad retake the lead after being down 16-15.
Radtke put the game away with an ace, one of four earned in the match, for the 2-0 Elk Mound win.
The Lady Mounders did not appear to struggle with Ellsworth in their second meeting this season. The Elk Mound girls’ held an eight-point lead at one point which translated into a 11-point, 25-14 win for the first game.
The Panthers fared only slightly better against the Mounders’ hitting onslaught in the second game, losing that one 25-16 to give the Mounders a second 2-0 win for the evening.
The tide appeared to turn when the home team went toe-to-toe with New Richmond for the evening’s final match.
The Mounders were down 5-3 in the opening minutes of the game, but managed to stay within striking distance of the Tigers until late in the game when New Richmond pushed out to a 24-17 lead and drilled home game point for the 25-17 win.
Elk Mound found a little more offensive fire in the second game, with a kill shot from Allie Weber to take the 5-4 lead, and later an ace from Hailey Blaskowski to leave the Mounders trailing by just one 12-11. The New Richmond ladies continued to grind away at the home squad, though, and sealed the deal with a 25-19 win.
Senior Allie Weber led the Mounders’ offensive attack with 17 kills on the evening. Radtke and Kourtney Zurbuchen tied with 13 kills apiece. Cassidy Yakesh recorded eight, Madysen Borofka logged four, and Kortnee Halgren and Kyla Egan are credited with one kill each.
Radtke led the team with five aces, while Hailey Blaskowski earned three. Halgren and Alex Jenson each tacked up an ace for the evening.
Borofka took the night’s top honors for setting up scoring opportunities with 37. Halgren set up six, and Radtke and Emily Bartig each recorded one set.
Halgren led the team with 19 digs, Jenson recorded 18, Weber logged 17, and Borofka had 13. Radtke turned back some scoring attempts to record 11 digs, Blaskowski logged 4, and Yakesh and Bartig chalked up two each.
Debbie Roesler Invitational
The energy and excitement Coach Stelter noticed in her team September 7 appeared in the gym at McDonell Central High School in Chippewa Falls last Saturday when the Mounders played as part of the Debbie Roesler Invitational.
The Elk Mound girls’ fell to the home team, the McDonell Macks, in the first match of the September 9 tournament, but then bested Blair-Taylor, Greenwood, Loyal and Osseo-Fairchild – all in straight sets – to take home a 4-1 record as they face one more tournament at Eau Claire North before opening Dunn-St. Croix play at home versus Plum City September 19.
The Mounders put up a fight against the Macks in the first, but could not get past them and dropped the set 25-17 before falling 25-15 in the second to start the day 0-1.
Elk Mound then faced Blair-Taylor’s Wildcats, easily winning the first 25-14 before copping the win in the second with a score of 25-18. The Lady Mounders made short work of Greenwood, winning in 25-15 and 25-16, before facing the Loyal Greyhounds and winning 25-16 in both sets.
The final match of the day featured a tough first set against Osseo-Fairchild where the Thunder suffered just a 25-21 loss before falling to the Mounders 25-15 in the second.
Junior Morgan Radtke led the day with 32 kills, and eight Senior Madysen Borofka recorded 49 assists, 12 kills, and a pair of aces.
Kourtney Zurbuchen logged 17 kills, Allie Weber recorded 14, Cassidy Yakesh chalked up eight, Sophie Cedarblade is credited with five, Kortnee Halgren sent in four kills, Maggie Bartig and Kyla Egan tied with three apiece, and Emily Bartig logged one.
Emily Bartig provided eight assists, while Halgren recorded three and Maggie Bartig and Alex Jenson set up one assist each. Jenson also recorded five aces, Emily logged two, and Cedarblade and Hailey Blaskowski each are credited with one ace.
Defensively, Allie Weber led with 35 digs, Jenson recorded 34, Halgren logged 20, Borofka took 17, Blaskowski and Emily Bartig tied with eight each, Radtke logged six, Cedarblade is credited with four, Maggie Bartig and Yakesh took two apiece, and Zurbuchen added one. [/emember_protected]