By Cara L. Dempski
ELK MOUND — There were probably a few Elk Mound volleyball fans worried about the Mounders dropping their first set against Boyceville at home last Tuesday, but coach Samantha Stelter was not really concerned.
“We had a rocky start,” Stelter said of the Mounders’ 25-22 first-set loss at home to the Bulldogs September 26. “I don’t think we’re notorious for quick starts, but the loss doesn’t define us. It’s more how we rebound and come back.”
And that is precisely what the Mounders did, eventually winning a 3-1 match against the visiting Bulldogs to remain undefeated as they turned their attention to a road match against rival Colfax just two days later on September 28.
The Mounders held the lead until the visiting Bulldogs’ tied the first set at 20 before taking a 21-20 lead on an Elk Mound serving error. The home team could still have had a chance to take the set back, but Stelter described a style of play featuring six individuals on the floor, rather than a team, which allowed the Bulldogs to take the first 25-22 after a hitting error from Morgan Radtke.
Elk Mound raced out to a 5-2 start in the second set before the Lady Bulldogs knotted things up at 9. After a short time out to talk things over with her team, Stelter’s Mounders got back down to business, only allowing the Bulldogs to score four more times, while racing out to a 25-13 win in the second set.
Boyceville showed a little more energy again in the third, leading the game 8-6 despite the home team’s best efforts. The Mounders found their swing and pushed out to a 20-11 lead before putting the Bulldogs away in the third 25-15.
Elk Mound made short work of Boyceville in the final set, besting the visiting Bulldogs 25-8 to take the match win and remained undefeated in the conference.
Junior Morgan Radtke continues to use her height and reach to excellent effect in the front row, taking credit for a team-leading 18 kills against the Bulldogs, and logging a trio of solo blocks. Allie Weber is credited with eight kills, Kourtney Zurbuchen with five, Cassidy Yakesh with four, and Madysen Borofka with one.
Borofka also put up 31 assists, and Kortnee Halgren set up one.
Libero Alex Jenson led the team with five aces, while Radkte and Hailey Blaskowski each recorded two, and Borofka logged one. Weber led the team with 13 digs, Borofka took nine, Blaskowski logged six, Jenson had five, Radtke recorded four, Halgren and Sophie Cedarblade took credit for three each, and Zurbuchen chalked up two.
“We’re looking to have fun and bring energy,” Stelter said of the match. “And just make sure when things go south, we don’t give up. Our things this season is we’re really just trying to set the pace and control the game the way we want it to be controlled.”
With the win over Boyceville, Elk Mound improved 14-11 overall, and 3-0 in the conference.