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by Marlys Kruger
The Elk Mound volleyball team played a home-and-away match against a much-improved Glenwood City team last week, resulting in wins for both teams on their respective home courts.
The Mounders, with just one conference loss, won in straight sets Tuesday, October 6 but the Hilltoppers bounced back to take an exciting five-set win on their home court Thursday night, October 8.
Glenwood City (6-1) now sits on top of the Dunn-St. Croix Conference with just one loss along with Colfax, while the Mounders (6-2) have two losses in the shortened season.
Elk Mound will face off against Durand in a pair of matches this week. Last night, Tuesday, October 13, the Mounders traveled to Durand with the Panthers returning the favor this Thursday, October 15.
The Mounders are slated to begin the WIAA Division 2 tournament next Tuesday, October 20. Elk Mound is part of a 6-team regional grouping that also includes Altoona, Baldwin-Woodville, Bloomer, St. Croix Central and Stanley-Boyd. Winners will advance to the regional semifinals on Thursday, October 29 with the finals to be held on Saturday, October 31.
Elk Mound 3, Glenwood City 0
In what was expected to be a close match, the first set was all of that with 16 tie scores. Knotted at 8-8, the Toppers took leads of 13-9 and 14-11 before Morgan Kinblom scored on a block. McKenna Diermeier slammed an ace serve and Kinblom added a kill to tie things up.
It went to 15-15, 16-16, 18-18, 19-19 and 20-20 before the Toppers went up by a pair of points. Diermeier’s kill and Kinblom’s two unreturnable serves gave the Mounders a 23-22 lead, but the Toppers countered each time and it was 23-23, 24-24, 25-25 and 26-26 before Elk Mound forced a couple of Topper errors to take the first set 28-26.
The win seemed to give the Mounders some confidence as they started the second set with a bang, pulling out to a 7-1 advantage. Susan Marquardt served up a string of points and the Mounders stayed ahead by margins of 5-7 points for the rest of the set. At 24-17, Glenwood City scored twice but Diermeier slammed the final point to win set two 25-19.
Kinblom put down an ace along with two by Tessah Tyman in the third set for a 12-6 Mounder advantage, and they continued to add to their lead. At 22-9, the Toppers picked up a couple of points but Tyman countered with a tip and a kill to get to match point. Glenwood City went on a run, however, scoring five straight points before they hit a ball out of bounds to give Elk Mound the 25-16 win.
Glenwood City 3, Elk Mound 2
The Mounders continued to roll as they won the first two sets rather convincingly on the Toppers’ home court 25-12 and 25-20.
Elk Mound took early advantage of 7-1 and 8-3 on its way to victories in the first two sets.
The Mounders also led 8-5 in the third set before Glenwood City came out focused and put the hammer down to take the next three sets and the match 25-22, 25-18 then needed extra points at 16-14 to win a thrilling fifth set.