By Jared Schmeltzer
On Saturday (September 28), Merrill traveled to Stevens Point to take on conference opponent SPASH. The Bluejays got down early, but were able to battle back and win the game in four sets.
The first set saw SPASH taking the win 25-18. Merrill would rally after that taking the second set by a score of 25-23. The Bluejays went on to win the third set 25-17 and took the fourth and final set 25-23.
“I’m so proud of this team tonight,” Commetnts head coach Kris Krug. “Being able to beat a top notch team like SPASH on their home court with a large crowd and Pink Night festivities. We didn’t play our best but we didn’t give up. Defensively, SPASH dug an incredible amount of balls up and they did a great job of covering Morgan Wardall. Fortunately, we have other hitters that are becoming more consistent and we can rely on them in pressure situations. We have this week to get ready for the second leg of the Valley Conference Tournament in which we will be facing Wausau East, Marshfield, and Wausau West. We have a lot to polish up before then, but we have confidence in our team to step up their game as we head into October.”
The win notches #7 for the ladies in Wisconsin Valley competition and now sets them two games ahead in first place at 7-0.
Merrill was able to serve the ball well with three girls serving 100%. The 100% severs include Maddix Bonnell (21 attempts), Kelsie Belfiori (11 attempts) and Kate Peterson (10 attempts). Morgan Wardall and Megan Schroder tied for kills in the game with 14 while Wardall also led the team in aces with four.
The girls will be back on the court Saturday morning as they travel to Wausau West for the second leg of the conference tournament.
Bluejays best Eau Claire North
The Merrill volleyball team took on Eau Claire North last night in a non conference match up. The game would go all five sets with the Bluejays eventually taking the hard earned win.
Merrill got off to a good start, winning a tight first set 25-23. The Bluejays went on to take the second set with more of a cushion with a 25-14 win. In the third set Eau Claire North showed they wouldn’t be pushed around with a 25-16 win. Eau Claire also went on to take the fourth set 25-20 to force a fifth set. The Merrill girls showed up big in the final set and took home the victory with a 15-6 win.
“This was just the match that we needed going into Thursdays conference match up against SPASH,” said head coach Kris Krug. “We finally showed some much needed intensity in set 5. I felt like we were just going through the motions in sets 3 and 4. Eau Claire North is an aggressive serving team and very scrappy. We served very well tonight – five players at 100%, but had more hitting errors than I care to think about. On to a tough match on Thursday night!”
The five girls who served 100% include Maddix Bonnell (25 attempts), Kate Peterson (10 attempts), Kelsie Belfiori (13 attempts), Madi Weix (11 attempts), and Lindsey Casper (24 attempts). Megan Schroder led the team in kills in the game with 16 and four errors. Morgan Wardall was second in kills with 12, and 11 errors.