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by Marlys Kruger
After a two-week hiatus, the Colfax volleyball team found its way back to the court with a home and away matches against the Elmwood/Plum City Wolves this past week. Playing at home Tuesday, October 13 for Parents’ Night and Senior Night, it took five sets before the Vikings claimed a victory, then two days later another five-set match resulted in a loss for the Vikings.
WIAA Division 3 regional play begins this Thrusday, October 22, with Colfax, the number two seed, hosting Glenwood City, the three seed. The victor will advance to face the winner of the Clear Lake (#1) and Boyceville (#4) or Spring Valley (#5) match in Saturday’s, October 24, regional championship. The Hilltoppers have a 9-1 record while Colfax has four wins and two losses in the shortened season.
Colfax 3, Elmwood/Plum City 2
As expected, it took a while to shake the rust off after the Vikings couldn’t practice or play any games for two weeks, resulting in some inconsistent play throughout the match at home last Tuesday, October 13.
The first set was tied six times early on before the Vikings began to pull away at 17-12. However, they allowed the Wolves to go on a six-point run and fell behind 18-17. But, Madison Barstad stepped up to the service line, and using a short serve, racked up six points when the Wolves could not return any of those serves. At 23-20, Brooklyn Stehling put down a kill and set point was won on Jeanette Hydukovich’s tip-kill for the 25-21 win.
Set number two was tight the whole way with 12 tie scores and the Vikings didn’t help themselves with three consecutive serving errors. At 8-8, the Wolves went up by three points and after some errors by both teams, kills by Barstad and Hydukovich along with an ace serve by Abby Irwin knotted the score at 13-13. The teams traded points, putting the score at 15-15, 16-16, 19-19, 21-21, and 22-22 before the Wolves took the set at 25-22.
It appeared the momentum was in the Wolves’ favor when they jumped out to leads of 7-3 and 10-5 in set three on several kills to an open court. But the Vikings fought back to get to 12-12 with help from slams again by Barstad and Hydukovich along with a service ace from Maci Harvey. Harvey continued to serve up four more points and a Barstad slam and ace put the Vikings up 20-14. Stehling blasted a kill and Hydukovich blocked a shot for a 22-15 advantage but the Wolves had a six-point run to cut the Colfax lead to 22-21. Hydukovich scored on a shot off the net, E/PC had a serving error and Anna Geissler used her left-handed serve that spun away from the Wolves libero for the winning point at 25-22.
And yet again, the Wolves jumped out to a lead early, this time 5-0 before Harvey served up a point. Colfax tied it 5-5 but that inconsistent play reared its ugly head again and the Wolves went up 11-6 because of it. The Wolves began to pull away as they upped the lead to 22-14 before Colfax made a little run with ace serves by Stehling, Geissler and Irwin along with a Hydukovich block to get the score to 24-22. But, Glaus slammed a winning shot to even the match with a 25-22 score.
The fifth game is only played to 15 points in high school volleyball so getting off to a quick start is always important. However, E/PC was the team that figured this out when they held a three-point lead three times early on. With Colfax down 8-5, a serving error by the Wolves combined with Harvey putting down a kill, a Stehling serve for a point and a huge block by Hydukovich put the Vikings ahead 9-8. They maintained the lead the rest of the way and at 14-10, Barstad finished off the match with kill number 12 for the match.
“We were off for a couple of weeks but came back to pull off an epic match,” coach Pam Meredith said. “We recognized our seven seniors tonight and we want to thank them for being great leaders on and off the court.” Those seniors include Brynn Bergeson, Bailey Bradford, Anna Geissler, Abby Irwin, Tyler Noll, Rylee Parker and Brooklyn Stehling.
Along with her 12 kills, Barstad added six ace serves, three blocks, 10 assists and 18 digs. Hydukovich finished with seven kills and five blocks, Irwin had six kills, Bradford five kills and 16 digs, Harvey four aces and 22 digs and Stehling 23 assists, nine digs and four kills.
Elmwood/Plum City 3, Colfax 2
After winning the first two sets 25-20 and 25-21 last Thursday, October 15 in Elmwood, it appeared the Vikings would be getting back to Colfax at a decent time if they could win the third set. But the Wolves had other ideas on this night as they turned the tables and came up with three straight set wins at 25-21, 25-20 and a 15-2 blow out in the final game.
“For a third time this season, we were pushed to a hard fought five sets,” Meredith said. “This time we were unable to pull off a victory. Poor passing led to our demise with two many free balls sent across the net which resulted in several kills by E/PC. It was a disappointing loss especially since I thought we played two of our best sets of the season before we let our guard down. We will need to shore up our fundamentals before regionals start,” she added.
Hydukovich led the Vikings in kills with 11, Barstad added nine kills, three blocks and a team leading 17 assists, Irwin slammed six kills with 13 digs, Jada Anderson came up big with 21 digs, three blocks and five kills, Harvey finished with 20 digs and Stehling added 13 digs and 15 assists.