By Jared Schmeltzer
Friday night the Merrill volleyball team hosted Northland Pines in Merrill’s first playoff game of the year. The Bluejays won the game in three straight sets, however Northland Pines did not go easily.
Set one was tight throughout with Northland Pines leading for most of the set. Merrill rallied in the end of the set as they went from losing 15-20 to winning the set 26-24. The Bluejays were able to set the tempo from that point on, as they went on to win the second set by a score of 25-17. Merrill finished off the Eagles in the third set, winning 25-19 and advancing to the Regional Finals.
“Northland Pines played hard tonight. They are a team that never gave up.” Comments coach Kris Krug. “Even when we had a 12 point lead in set two, they continued to dig balls up and serve aggressively. Kaylee Bowe had some key kills tonight when it felt like Pines was beginning to rally. We could feel the momentum shift when we took set 1 after they had the lead. “We put the gas pedal down and never looked back,” according to Morgan Wardall! We’re taking it one match at a time and look forward to Saturday night in Merrill for the Regional Final game.”
The ladies claimed the Regional title Saturday evening after toppling Medford in 3 sets 25-12, 25-19 and 25-18. They will now move on to square off with #1 seed Mosinee in a Sectional bout Thursday evening at 7 PM. Mosinee squeaked past Black River Falls for their Regional Title Saturday, grinding out 5 sets to steal away the win 23-25, 25-8, 19-25, 25-19 and 15-12. Check back Monday for complete coverage of Saturdays triumph.