By Amber Hayden
ELK MOUND – The Mounders volleyball team took to the court against Spring Valley and Eau Claire Regis to kick off the start of the playoff season in the WIAA Division 3 Regional tournament.
Last Tuesday evening, Elk Mound hosted the Spring Valley Cardinals in what seemed to be a completely different match up than the first time around.
The Mounders managed a clean sweep against the Cardinals in the October 16 match as they advanced to the regional semifinals.
Two days later, Elk Mound traveled to the land of the Ramblers in Eau Claire hoping for another win in order to play on Saturday evening’s regional title match, but to no avail as the Ramblers took the match against Elk Mound in five, hard-fought sets.
“We weren’t prepared for the season to be over,” stated Mounders’ head coach Samantha Stelter. “But when we reflect on where we started this season and then you look at how far we’ve come and the teams we were able to compete with, wins and loses aside, I’d say it was a successful season.”
Elk Mound finished the 2018 volleyball campaign with a 22-12 record.
Elk Mound vs. Spring Valley
The Mounders entered into their first round of play in the WIAA Division 3 Regional tournament last Tuesday evening, October 16, against the Cardinals and managed to sweep Spring Valley in three sets by scores of 25-19, 25-17 and 25-19.
“Spring Valley showed up to play last night,” Mounders’ head coach Samantha Stelter stated, “and I give them credit for making adjustments from the last time we played them.”
Senior Morgan Radtke dominated the offensive attack against the Cardinals laying down 22 kills in three sets of play, McKenna Diermeier went up for five kills and Maggie Bartig contributed three kills of her own.
Digging deep from the back row was libero, Abigail Curry, putting down 13 digs in Tuesday night’s match up, McKenna Diermeier tacked on seven digs and Qwynn Tyman added in three more.
“Our defense and passing was on, however,” Stelter said, “while our offense struggled at times, we were able to keep feeding the pass to our setters which allowed us to get many offensive attempts.”
Kortnee Halgren played a solid three sets against Spring Valley with 27 assists, three aces, two block assists and nine digs.
The front row had a little help from Qwynn Tyman with four assists and Kaitlin Schiferl and Hailey Blaskowski each had one assist a piece.
With the win over Spring Valley the Mounders set their eyes on Eau Claire Regis. “If we can get our offense going and pass well like we did last night (Tuesday), it’s going to be a fun week of volleyball,” Stelter explained.
Elk Mound vs. Eau Claire Regis
Elk Mound headed to Eau Claire last Thursday evening, October 18, to take on the Eau Claire Regis Ramblers in their second game of the WIAA Division 3 Regional Tournament.
The Ramblers snagged the win from the Mounders in five sets by scores of 25-23, 15-25, 22-25, 25-19 and 15-10. Elk Mound prolonged the match after winning in sets two and three, but it seems the dominate force the Mounders have possessed all season wasn’t there for them Thursday evening.
“It’s challenging to lose at Regis because we had more goals we wanted to accomplish this season but the girls played their hearts out,” stated Stelter. “Morgan had probably her best offensive night of her career.”
Elk Mound managed 9.4 kills per set against Regis with Morgan Radtke putting up 28 of the 47 kills for the Mounders, McKenna Diermeier found her way to the net for six and Maggie Bartig contributed five of her own.
The Elk Mound defense, however, struggled with only 28 total digs against the Ramblers. Abigail Curry led the defense with 12 digs to add to her career, Qwynn Tyman tacked on five more and Hailey Blaskowski added in another four.
Kortnee Halgren had a solid night for Elk Mound with 34 assists against Regis, as well as two aces, two block assists and three digs.
“Regis is a tough team who plays great defense,” Stelter commented.