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By Amber Hayden
ELK MOUND — The Mounders hosted a volleyball quadrangular September 6 against Elmwood, Ellsworth and New Richmond before trekking to a Chippewa Falls Invite on September 8 for matches against Cameron, Loyal, Greenwood, Chippewa Falls McDonell and Osseo-Fairchild.
Serving aggressively and minimizing service errors while defensively passing well worked for the Mounders at home last Thursday.
Elk Mound went on to finish 2-1 in its home quad, bookending a pair of two-set wins over Elmwood and New Richmond around a loss to Ellsworth in three games.
Two days later, Elk Mound struggled early in Saturday’s Chippewa Falls tourney but found the will to win four of their five matches that day, coming up with a 2-1 win over McDonell and Osseo-Fairchild and 2-0 sweeps of Loyal and Greenwood. The Mounders lone loss of the day came against a tough Cameron team, 2-1.
After a long week of games the Mounders will be off until this Thursday, September 13 when they have their conference opener at home against Plum City. That will be followed by a tournament at Eau Claire North on Saturday, September 15 and a conference match against Durand at home next Tuesday, September 18.
Elk Mound Quadrangular
While the goal for the Mounders September 6 was to go 3-0 in its own quad, according to head coach Samantha Stelter, they did manage to win their matches against Elmwood and New Richmond but fell to Ellsworth.
Elk Mound started the night against Elmwood running the court with six points before Elmwood managed to get their first points on the board. The Mounders won in straight sets besting the Raiders 25-9 and 25-16.
Morgan Radtke had 15 kills, three aces and four digs against Elmwood, Quinn Tyman tacked on four more aces for the Mounders and McKenna Diermeier contributed three more.
Up next was a tough Ellsworth squad. The Panthers beat the host 2-1 by scores of 16-25, 25-21 and 15-9.
“I thought we kept a very good Ellsworth team out of the system especially early in the match,” stated Stelter. “They have a strong offense that our blockers did a nice job to slow down.”
Radtke and Diermeier put up 13 kills for the Mounders against the Panthers. Senior Kortnee Halgren had four aces and Qwynn Tyman tacked on another two.
Defensively the digs were not hard to come by as Abigail Curry had eight, Kortnee Halgren contributed seven more and Hailey Blaskowski added in six.
After suffering the loss to the Panthers, Elk Mound rebounded to beat New Richmond in two sets – 25-21 and 25-18.
Juniors Maggie Bartig and Sophie Cedarblade each put up five kills between the pair, and Abigail Curry added in three aces and seven digs.
Chippewa Falls Tournament
September 8 was a roller coaster of a day for the Lady Mounders according to coach Sam Stelter.
Elk Mound had to come from behind to beat Chippewa Falls McDonell 2-1 in the opening match of the tournament. After splitting the first two games 19-25 and 25-22, the Mounders found themselves down 8-2 in the third and final set to the Macks But Lady Mounders rallied for a 15-11 win to claim the match.
Elk Mound opened with a 25-15 win over Cameron only to see the Comets take the next two sets and match 19-25 and 9-15.
The Mounders swept matches against Loyal (27-25, 25-14) and Greenwood (25-17, 25-5) and pulled out a 2-1 victory against Osseo-Fairchild with scores of 25-20, 18-25 and 15-5.
Morgan Radtke had 56 kills added to her career throughout the four games, as well as five during a neutral game between Elk Mound and Cameron.
Senior Kortnee Halgren had 21 digs and 74 assists and Qwynn Tyman contributed six aces during the four games.
“Against Cameron we took set one pretty easily, but when Cameron turned up their level of play we struggled to do the same,” commented coach Stelter.
“While it was a rough day, it was a good learning opportunity and now we hit this gym so we are ready to open conference on September 13.”