If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
By Missy Klatt
In the battle of local rivals, the Glenwood City Hilltoppers and the Boyceville Bulldogs, the Toppers dominated the Dawgs on the volleyball court this past week in matches held in Boyceville on Tuesday, October 13th and in Glenwood City on Thursday, October 15th. The Lady Hilltoppers took both matches – three sets to nil.
For the Lady Tops this improved their record to 8-1 and left them sitting on top of the Dunn-St. Croix conference. The Bulldogs are currently 1-6.
The WIAA Division 3 regional playoffs started this week. The number three-seeded Hilltoppers had a first-round bye and will head to Colfax (#2) on Thursday, October 22nd. The Bulldogs (#4) will have hosted the Spring Valley Cardinals (#5) last night (Oct. 20th). The winner of that match will face top-seeded Clear Lake on Thursday. Thursday night victors will advance to the regional championship to be held Saturday, October 24.
In the first set of the evening on Tuesday, both teams looked a bit rough with both making errors early on in the set. As a result, the scores were pretty close until the Toppers tied up the score at 10-10 when Bella Rassbach served up an ace for the Hilltoppers. Two points later it was Kristin Dayton with the kill to give the Toppers a 12-10 lead. After a Bulldogs’ timeout, they were able to add a point before the ball went back to the Toppers in the hands of Dayton, who went on a twelve-point serving run with some help at the net from the Oehlke sisters, Maddie and Ryeah. Two more points from the Bulldogs made the score Toppers 24, Bulldogs 13. The Toppers then finished off the opening set with a huge kill from Maddie Oehlke.
In set two, things were once again very close early on with the score tied at 3, 4, 5 and 6. It was at this point the Toppers started to pull away with a short serving run from Yasmin Mendez. Lacota Brown then got the ball back for the Bulldogs with a kill at the net. As play continued, there were some hard hits from both sides, Chrissa Kersten and Kady Grambow for the Bulldogs and Dayton and Maddie Oehlke for the Hilltoppers. With the score Bulldogs 12, Toppers 17, Maddie O. came up with a huge kill that hit nothing but floor to make it 12-18. A few points later, it was again nothing but floor from Maddie O. to give the Toppers a 20-13 lead. Not to be outdone, the Bulldogs’ Ella Holden countered with a hard kill to the back corner cutting the Topper lead to six.
At this point, the Toppers then stretched their lead to 24-14 before the Dawgs made a late surge with kills from Holden and Grambow to pull to within four, 20-24 before Topper Ryeah came up with a kill to put the set away.
In the third set, things really started to fall apart for the Dawgs as they struggled with their serve receive, getting good balls to their setter. Then they had several serve errors and other errors, basically just giving points away to the Toppers. In the end, it was a fairly quick set with the Toppers winning 25-11.
Topper head coach Nicole Miller stated that they were ready for a good match and worked again to prepare for anything that the Bulldogs would throw their way.
“The girls came out strong and continued to set the ball up for points along with good serving which helped us gain points by errors Boyceville made off of them. It was a slower game of volleyball than we had been used to, especially coming off a week against Elk Mound. The girls got a little more laxed in the second set,” commented Miller.
For the Toppers, Maddie Oehlke led in kills with ten followed by her sister Ryeah with eight and Dayton with five. At the serving line, it was Rassbach, Mendez and Eliza Voeltz all with two aces.
Defensively at the net, Maddie Oehlke had three block assists, Dayton and Ryeah Oehlke each had one solo block and one assist. In the back court it was Mendez who led in digs with fifteen, followed by Maddie Oehlke with eight and Rassbach with seven.
For the Bulldogs, it was Holden and Grambow each with seven kills with Chesney Leslie (10) and Ava Olson doing the setting. Defensively Kersten led in digs with twenty-two followed by Grambow with sixteen and Mya Lagerstrom with twelve. At the net, it was Libby Bygd with one solo block and two block assists while Grambow had one of each.
The match played Thursday in Glenwood City, started with a close first set with some nice play, hits, serves and blocks from both sides.
The lead changed hands many times till with the score tied at 15 the Toppers jumped ahead 21-15 mainly due to errors on the Bulldogs’ part. After the Toppers served long, they got the serve back again with a kill from Devynn Olson. A few plays later after a long volley, the Toppers had a 23-18 lead. The Dawgs weren’t ready to concede yet and Bygd and Grambow came up with a nice block to give them another point. Maddie Oehlke countered that with a huge kill and now it was set point for the Hilltoppers. However, a couple of errors from the Toppers and a nice kill from Bygd put the score at 24-22 in the Toppers’ favor. It was at this point that the Toppers used their first timeout of the set. After the timeout, Dayton came up with a hit that the Dawgs couldn’t return to win the opening set 25-22.
Sets two and three were fairly similar in that the Hilltoppers established the lead early in the sets and they never let it go. For the Bulldogs, errors and not getting a good pass to the setter seemed to be their downfall. On a bright note, Bygd, Grambow and Holden had some nice kills during the sets. For the Toppers, kills and serving aces were spread out nicely amongst the team as they racked up eleven aces for the match.
The Toppers won the second set 25-15 and the third 25-16.
“This week we were unable to execute,” remarked Bulldogs’ head coach Kacey Lane. “We were physically and mentally prepared but in the end we did not execute. We had some issues with our passes and that is where things get going for our offense and defense. But having games like this, we can only get better and know what we need to work on. I thought on Thursday Libby Bygd had a nice game, she was hot. Too bad she had to rotate in the back row that night otherwise would have loved to have her in the front all night.”
Toppers’ Coach Miller thought that her girls started the match slow when they allowed the Bulldogs to score twenty-two points on them but went on to say that they stepped it up for the second and third set.
“Thursday night’s match included more good volleys which pushed us to pick up our pace more than Tuesday night when we played them,” noted Miller. “They did a lot of tipping and pushing the ball over to us trying to catch us off guard but the girls caught on quick and started to pick the ball up better with more accuracy to our setters. We were able to dig the ball and get them up for sets to get good hits which helped us put more points on the board. It was great to see the girls continue to work together as a team, pick up one another after a lost point and go back to fighting harder with every set.”
Offensively for the Lady Dawgs, Bygd led with eight kills followed by Grambow with six. While Olson had eleven set assists and Leslie added ten more. Defensively, Kersten led in digs with twenty while Holden supplied thirteen.
Offensively for the Lady Toppers, it was Maddie Oehlke with eleven kills and five aces. Ryeah Oehlke served up three aces, Dayton two and Alex Peterson one. Ryeah Oehlke led with 15 set assists and Maddie Oehlke had an additional seven assists. Defensively, Mendez led in digs with 13 followed by Maddie Oehlke with ten and Peterson with nine. At the net, Ryeah Oehlke had two solo blocks and Maddie Oehlke and Dayton teamed up for three block assists.