By Nick Beversdorf
After a successful series of matches, Merrill volleyball stumbled against their two opponents, DC Everest and SPASH, at the WVC meet on Saturday.
In the first match, DC Everest more or less handily defeated Merrill, winning three out of the four sets. Merrill edged out Everest on the first set 25-23, but Everest won the last three sets 25-10, 25-14 and 25-19 to take the victory.
“It was definitely not our best day,” comments head coach Kris Krug. “DCE out hustled, served, and blocked us. It won’t be any easier playing Everest on their home court at the end of the season. We have a rotation that we seemed to get stuck in and didn’t have anyone that could put the ball down. Serving errors continued to plague us this weekend. We are trying to be an aggressive serving team, but we have to keep the ball in play.”
Despite the loss, there were still bright spots. Lindsey Casper and Taylor Cichy had great serving games, with Lindsey nailing two aces out of 13 attempts and Taylor having 12 attempts, both error-free. Katie Zelinski also had the best hitting percentage at 0.429 with 13 kills out of 28 attacks with just one error.
The next game against SPASH didn’t play out much better, although Merrill was still able to snag a victory. Merrill won the first set 25-18 but SPASH was able to win the second set 25-20. Undeterred, Merrill won the third set 25-22 and, for the fourth set, won with an impressive score of 25-12.
“The SPASH match didn’t prove to be much better,” adds Krug. “Basic fundamentals were lacking and our communication was failing. The good news is that we were still victorious in the match and are still able to stay the course of our goal for this season.”
Top hitters include Morgan Wardall with 19 kills out of 41 attacks with three errors, Zelinski with 15 kills out of 48 attacks and 10 errors and Kelsie Befliori two kills out of 31 attacks with three errors. Top servers include Cichy and Befliori with 27 attempts, three aces, one error and 21 attempts, four aces, one error, respectively.
Varsity volleyball will be playing at Wausau East on Thursday at 7 p.m.