By Cara L. Dempski
The regular volleyball season is starting to wind down, and many teams are gearing up to finish strong prior to the start of regional play in mid October.
The 1-3 Glenwood City Hilltoppers continued to display some strong play in the waning weeks of the regular season, despite falling to conference foes Plum City and Durand last week.
The Hilltoppers suffered a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of the previously winless Blue Devils last Tuesday, September 26, despite decisive wins in the first and fourth sets to force a fifth. Two nights later, Glenwood City took a trip to Durand for a September 28 match-up with the Panthers. They again took two away from their opponent, but could not seal the deal, falling to Durand in a 3-2 loss.
Glenwood City is now 1-3 in the Dunn-St. Croix and 4-10 overall with some of its toughest tests still to come. The Hilltoppers hosted Boyceville at GC October 3, and head to Colfax October 5 to take on the Vikings. They host Elk Mound October 10 before finishing the regular season at Elmwood on Thursday, October 12.
Glenwood City started its September 26 match against Plum City very much in it to win it.
“The girls came out and played a great first game,” coach Christa Blaser said. “The second and third games were not our best, but by the fourth game, at the end, we came back and finally were somewhat back on our game.”
The Lady Hilltoppers likely gave their coach a few gray hairs from the stress of watching them win the first set 25-17, before falling 25-23 and 25-19 in the second and third. They smashed the Blue Devils 25-17 a second time in the fourth to force a fifth set, but finally succumbed 15-8 for the 3-2 loss at home.
Glenwood City took credit for 29 kills against Plum City, 14 of which were split evenly between Abby Kremer and Tressa Peskar. Delaney Quinn logged six kills, Jenesa Klinger is credited with five, and Michaela Nyhus and Madelyn Oehlke each logged a pair.
Jatelyn Johnson set up 17 assists in the match, and Oehlke provided another 12. Quinn took credit for 10 aces, Peskar recorded four, Klinger accounted for two, and Johnson logged one.
Quinn also led the group in foiled attacks, logging 25 digs, with Klinger just behind at 21. Mariah Voeltz took credit for 16 digs, Johnson recorded 14, Oehlke chalked up 12, and Peskar took nine. Nyhus and Kremer rounded out the total of 104 digs with five and two respectively.
Sometimes, game scores do not tell the whole story. While the Glenwood City girls may have lost their September 28 match against Durand 3-2, they managed to serve at 94 percent, and logged 28 kills.
“The scores were not as close as they were Tuesday, but the ladies played great ball,” coach Christa Blaser said the following day. “We were equal teams, and had some fun, long volleys.”
The Lady Toppers took the first set 25-23, but then fell behind in the second to drop it 25-10. They pushed the issue in the third, winning it 25-16 to force a fourth set, before the Panthers won that one 25-14 to force a fifth.
Neither team seemed to want to give the other quarter, but the Panthers finally put the Hilltoppers to rest with a 16-14 win for the match.
Blaser said the Hilltoppers are discovering their offensive capabilities, and it was fun to see them gain some confidence against the Panthers.
The team logged 28 kills, with Delaney Quinn recording six, and Jenesa Klinger and Madelyn Oehlke chalking up five apiece. Jatelyn Johnson led the team with 15 assists.