By Jared Schmeltzer
Merrill volleyball matched up against Medford in Saturday night’s Regional Final. Merrill took the win in dominant fashion, winning in three straight sets to take home the Regional Championship.
The Bluejays came out of the gates hot, going on big scoring runs to take the first set by a score of 25-12. Medford was able to make the second set closer, however Merrill came out in top with a 25-19 win. With all of the momentum, the Bluejays finished off the Red Raiders with a 25-19 win in the third set to secure the Regional Championship and advance to Thursday’s Sectional Semi-finals.
“Tonight we showed consistency in digging and passing which made our offense run much smoother.” Said head coach Kris Krug. “It’s great to see the juniors step up and make some big plays. Maddix Bonnell & Kelsie Belfiori had an awesome night picking up tips and digging up the ball. Megan Schroder lead the team in kills with Morgan Wardall and Elizabeth Iribarren not far behind. It seemed like every big swing we had deflated Medford’s momentum that they were trying to build. I’m excited to see what we can bring to the Sectional Semi-finals!”
Megan Schroder led the team with 10 kills in the game. Morgan Wardall with nine kills and Elizabeth Iribarren with eight, were also big factors in the Merrill offense. Merrill served 95% as a team in the game with four girls serving 100%; including Maddix Bonnell (14 attempts), Lindsey Casper (13 attempts), Kelsie Belfiori (11 attempts) and Kate Peterson (8 attempts). Bonnell was also a force with her defense racking up 26 digs in the game; followed by Belfiori with 17.
The girls will be back on the court on Thursday as they travel to Medford to take on the number one seed from the other side of the bracket, Mosinee. Mosinee will be coming off of a hard fought victory over Black River Falls on Saturday, with Mosinee coming out on top after all five sets. Merrill and Mosinee will kick off at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Medford High School.