Jays reach sectional by taming Tigers in their jungle
The Bluejay volleyball team faced a stiff challenge in Saturday’s WIAA Regional final. A road match against Marshfield, the runner-up WVC team that had split five-set matches with the fourth-place Jays over the course of the season, stood between Merrill and a sectional berth.
But the girls built on the momentum started when they knocked off WVC champ Wausau East in the Valley closer, and continued through Thursday’s regional opener with Menomonie.
The MHS girls rebounded from a 25-21 first game loss to take three straight–25-18, 25-22, 25-21.
“It was awesome to go down there and beat them,” Merrill coach Kris Albrecht said. “It seemed like there was a sense of urgency, because this is it. They were genuinely excited about getting every point. It’s so exciting to see them play with desire and intensity. It’s what we’ve been waiting for all season.
“We played more as a team and moved the ball around, so everyone was hitting. We had some incredible plays as far as our back row, digging up balls that would have hit the floor earlier in the season.
“Marshfield really loaded up the block against Renee (Sladek). A couple powered through, of course, but then we had Lauren. She was just dominating. It’s special to have a player dominate on the right side of the court. Typically the left side is getting most of the hits. Rylee Folz played a tough middle.”
Offerings came from: Reegan Byer (4 kills, 24 assists, 20 d); Sladek (17 k, 2 aces, 5 d); Hojan (15 k, 5 as, 4 d); Marnholtz (20 d); Ali Zamzow (19 d); Katie Zuelsdorff (5 k, 13 d); Emily
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