Jeremy Ratliff & Kelly O’Day
After taking care of business to close out Valley play last week, the Bluejay volleyball team backed it up with a rout of the Red Robins in Tuesday’s home playoff starter on Tuesday.
Top-seeded Merrill made short work of 8-seed Antigo, pulling out a 25-14, 25-7, 25-13 victory to set up Thursday’s home match with Tomahawk.
“It was a great start to post-season play,” Krug said. “We had aggressive serving which is valuable in any match, but will play a significant role in the matches to come.
“I was able to get everyone into the match tonight which helps to gain confidence within the team. Each match is going to get a little bit tougher, but we are up for the challenge!”
Leaders: Morgan Wardall (10 k, 3 ac, 3 bl, 4 d); Emily Page (27 as, 3 d); Ali Zamzow (6 ac, 12 d); Chey Pyka (7 ac, 8 d); Katie Zelinski (7 k, 4 bl); Rylee Folz (8 k); Anna Finnell (4 k); Maddix Bonnel (4 k).
Four out of five ain’t bad.
The MHS volleyball team grabbed its fourth WVC crown in the past five years with Thursday’s sweep of Wisconsin Rapids (25-15, 25-10, 25-8), giving them back-to-back titles in the tough league. They came in 4th in 2013.
Merrill closed out the 2015 regular season in rather decisive fashion, chalking up an 11-1 WVC record to improve to 36-3-1 overall.
Their only conference loss this season came in a 3-0 match to runner-up Marshfield last week, breaking even this season’s series with the Tigers at 1-1.
Marshfield has proven to be a thorn in the ladies side for some time now and weren’t far off this season, finishing with a respectable 10-2 WVC record.
D.C. Everest finished third at 9-3 after falling in both bouts with the Jays this season.
Icing the victory cake for the ladies was the victory coming on their home court and on Senior Night nonetheless.
“Senior night proved to be a great finale to our regular season,” comments head coach Kris Krug.
“It felt like getting the monkey off our back with a victory over Wisconsin Rapids and clinching the Wisconsin Valley
Conference Championship. The seniors had a spectacular showing tonight as we gear up for post season play; the most exciting time of the year.”
As the coach alluded to, Tuesday evening the top-seeded ladies made their 2015 WIAA State Volleyball Tournament debut in playing host to 8th-seeded Lakeland (4-24). If Merrill wins it hosts the victor of the match between 4th-seed Antigo and 5th-seed Tomahawk.
Leaders: Folz (15 k, 2 ac); Finnell (16 k); Zamzow (3 ac, 24 d); Emily Page (2 ac); Pyka (9 d); Lindsey Cooper (8 d).