Close matches escape Merrill spikers’ clutches
The Bluejay volleyball team took three tough losses on the chin in the span of three days last week, falling to fourth in the Valley in the process.
They were edged in five games at third-place Marshfield last Thursday, then dropped 2-of-3 in Saturday’s WVC #2 Meet.
The Jays started with 25-13, 25-13, 25-15 sweep of sixth-place Wausau West, but stumbled 21-25, 25-16, 19-25, 27-25 to fifth-place D.C. Everest and were toppled 25-21, 18-25, 25-18, 23-25, 15-9 by second-place SPASH in the finale.
“It was a rough couple of days,” Merrill coach Kris Albrecht said. “I know the girls are disappointed. It’s hard when you’re trying to get team chemistry and confidence in the younger girls. It’s hard to recover, and yet you have to or your season will be over before you want it to be.
“We’re still not playing to our potential. One girl will, but not everybody will be playing well. We have to be a better passing team. We have the weapons offensively. We just have to put it all together.”
Offerings came from: Byer (8 kills, 6 aces, 70 assists, 30 digs); Sladek (39 k, 5 ac, 10 blocks, 20 d); Morgan Marnholtz (56 d); Lauren Hojan (28 k, 3 bl, 3 as, 18 d); Katie Zuelsdorff (14 k, 3 ac, 2 bl, 41 d); Ali Zamzow (8 ac, 41 d); Emily Page (21 as, 18 d); Aubrey Wardall (16 k, 4 bl); Rylee Folz (11 k, 2 bl, 5 d); and Anna Finnell (8 k, 2 bl, 4 d).
Tiger balm needed
The Bluejays were nipped in a marathon 25-22, 23-25, 25-18, 13-25, 15-13 match on Thursday.
“We knew going into Thursday that we had to win to be at the top of conference,” Albrecht said. “We need to be able to finish.”
Production came from: Sladek (16 k, 8 bl, 7 d); Byer (2 ac, 18 as, 9 d); Marnholtz (28 d); Zuelsdorff (6 k, 2 ac, 19 d); Hojan (5 k, 2 ac, 6 bl, 4 d); Zamzow (15 d); Page (9 as, 5 d); Wardall (6 k, 6 bl); Folz (4 bl, 3 d); and Finnell (6 k).
Merrill fell to 26-9 overall and 6-5 in the Valley. First-place East (11-1) comes here Thursday to close out WVC play.
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