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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Peshtigo/Niagara Post Early Season Wins

Bulldogs Beat Cavaliers

in Straight Sets


The Cavaliers of St. Thomas Aquinas Academy welcomed the Peshtigo Bulldogs to town Thursday night in an M&O volleyball matchup.  Peshtigo came out of the gates quickly on their way to a sweep of STAA.

The first set seemed to go by rather quickly as the serving of Claire Neumann took the game from 8-4 to 17-5.  The Bulldogs forced a side-out and Ashley Dudka took over the serving duties.  Dudka served up a five-point scoring run as Peshtigo took a 23-5 lead.  Peshtigo capped off the game 25-6 and went ahead in the match 1-0.

"There isn't one person that is getting all of the kills that we go to, it was very balanced and I like that we can do that.  If someone is having an off-night we can turn to someone else," Peshtigo Coach Robin Gilligan stated.

Game two was tight at the beginning, but again Dudka's serving created enough momentum for the Bulldogs.  This time, Dudka served four straight points pushing the Bulldog lead to 15-5. 

"Today was an all-out mental battle for our athletes.  When challenged, again and again by an aggressive, fast-paced and experienced offense, they didn't give up on each other," said STAA Coach Katie Soletske.

Indeed, they didn't, with their backs against the wall down 20-7, the Cavaliers forced a side-out and rallied off four straight points making the score 20-11. However, Peshtigo would score five of the last six points to win 25-12. 

In game three, the Cavaliers tried to build off of their momentum.  Peshtigo built up a 3-1 lead but a long volley was won by STAA followed up by an ace from Gabrielle Beranek to tie the game at 3-3.

"There was huge improvement tonight.  The amount of growth I have seen in the last week on their net-play is huge," Coach Soletske said.

Grace Johnson helped give Peshtigo a 9-5 edge by serving three straight points before Dudka came in with two clutch aces extending the Bulldog lead to 12-6.  Brianna McBride capped off the tremendous serving night for Peshtigo as she helped the Bulldogs to a six-point scoring run, giving them a 22-11 lead. 

With the score 23-15, Megan Behnke's defensive skills were on display as she made a one-armed diving dig giving Peshtigo a 24-15 advantage.  The Bulldogs would take game three 25-16 to win the match 3-0.

"She has really amazed me this year so far and is getting better every day.  Some of the things she can do are very good to see, especially serve receive as well," Coach Gilligan said of her libero, Megan Behnke.

Peshtigo's Ashley Dudka recorded a team-high eight assists and six aces while also adding four digs and three kills.  Jenna Thill and Claire Neumann each had four kills on the night.

For STAA, Jacqueline Sporie led the team with seven assists and added three digs.  Millie Benson paced the team in kills with four and teammate Anica Stark added three.



Niagara Makes

Quick Work of Lena/

The Niagara Badgers traveled to Lena last Thursday for an M&O Volleyball Conference match up with the Wildcats.

"I was very happy with the way we played," said Niagara Head Coach Carol St. Arnauld. "We passed first ball but we got into sync and took them out of their game."

It was just one of those bad days for the talented Lena girls who couldn't seem to get a break, as the Badgers took the win in three 25-15, 25-11 and 25-12.

"We have a determined team," said Lena Head Coach Heidi Place. "They are a strong serving team. Tonight the hits just wouldn't go where we needed them to go and things started to snowball."

Before the start of the match, the teams prepared for the National Anthem to be played but an issue with the P.A. system left the gym in silence. After a short pause, both teams began singing a heartfelt rendition of the anthem which received thunderous applause from the fans.

As the first set got rolling, it quickly became obvious that the Badgers were there to win. With the score 4-3 in favor of the Wildcats, Niagara's Peyton Aderman stepped up to serve bringing her team to an 8-4 lead before Lena called a timeout.

With the score 5-9, Lena's Kendra Slempkes slammed down a perfect cross court kill to help end the Niagara rally.

Answering the kill in the next volley was Niagara's Gwen Schwedersky with a kill of her own.

After a Slempkes serve, one of the best volleys of the night occurred. Badger Sydney Weber blocked a Lena kill attempt. But before she landed back on the court, Lena's Brianna Sylvester sent a kill attempt back at them. But Weber was ready and again blocking for the point.

"Our blockers really did a good job and one of them is just starting to learn the position," said St. Arnuald"

After the net battle, it was Sarah Nawn's turn to serve and surely did not disappoint. With multiple aces she helped to bring her team to a 22-13 lead.

Allison Wells ended the set on a tip kill.

Set two quickly got out of hand for the Lena girls as the Badger's sprinted to a 11-2 lead, thanks to a few aces by Wells and Jasmine Racine. Racine who took over the service with the score set at 6-2 in favor of Niagara, helped extend the Badger lead to 12-2.

A Schwedersky ace brought the Badgers to 14-5. A short serve gave the Badgers the winning point.

Set three also saw the Badger's build a quick 8-2 led, thanks to some good net play and serving by Nawn. An out of bounce serve ended the match for the Wildcats.

"The girls are getting there, we got a ways to go, " siad St. Arnuald. "But like I tell them we have to improve and they have been working very hard and have each others back."

Though the loss was a tough one to accept the Lena girls have plenty of talent as was evident in the five set match with the Coleman Cougars.

"We haven't played since Coleman so we had a week and half of no games, just practices," said Place. "We still have a lot of work to do but have plenty of season left."



Wausaukee Takes

Down Crivitz


The Wausaukee Rangers hosted the Crivitz Wolverines volleyball team last Thursday night for a five set match that saw the Rangers victorious 16-25, 25-21, 25-19, 23-25 and 17-15.

The Rangers were led by the efforts of Courtney Messar who had 20 kills, five aces, and six digs. As well as Alexis Ranallo who had nine kills, two aces and six digs. Isabelle Maske got nine kills while Courtney Hoffeller had seven kills.

The Wolverine net attack was led by Chloe Gruszynski with 12 kills, nine digs and seven blocks. Abby Barley also turned in a great day on the court with 10 kills, 15 digs, two aces, an assist and 12 blocks. Chelsea Michalski got 25 digs while Laken Ducaine had nine digs an ace and 24 assists. Talor Long scored 11 kills and five digs.



Rangers Take Two

at Algoma Invite


The Wausaukee Rangers along with the Gillett Tigers, took part in the Algoma Volleyball Invite last Saturday.

The Rangers had a decent day as they beat conference competitor Gillett 25-20 and 25-14 while also defeating Two Rivers 25-23 and 25-23. They suffered a loss at the hands of Algoma, 25-23 and 25-14, and another at the hands of Sevastopol 25-15, 26-24 and 15-8.

Courtney Messar had 20 kills, three aces and five digs while Alexis Ranallo had 16 kills, five aces, six digs and two blocks. Callie Orlando did her part with 2 kills and 37 assists.



Peshtigo Competes

at Shawano Invite


The Peshtigo Bulldogs traveled to Shawano to take part in a volleyball invitational Saturday.  The Bulldogs started out hot with a win over Oconto, 25-21 and 25-18, but couldn't find their groove after that.  Peshtigo lost a tough battle with Rhinelander in straight sets 20-25 and 25-27.  Then, the Bulldogs fell to the host, Shawano, 17-25 and 17-25.  In their matchup with Clintonville, Peshtigo won 25-17 before dropping the next set 8-25.  In the rubber match, the Bulldogs took down the Truckers 16-14.  Oconto Falls was too much for Peshtigo as they ended the Bulldogs' day by scores of 22-25 and 18-25.

Ashley Dudka recorded a solid all-around performance with a team-high 50 assists, 10 digs, eight kills and three blocks.  Shae Tonn also piled up the stat sheet with 25 kills, which led the team, 39 digs, two aces, a block and an assist.  Megan Behnke continued her stout defensive play leading the Bulldogs with 69 digs while also recording three kills.  Claire Neumann recorded 19 kills and 15 digs while Madi Martin posted 17 kills, four aces, three blocks and two digs.



Gillett Sweeps

Oneida Nation


It took just three sets Thursday night for the Gillett Tigers to take down the Oneida Nation Thunder hawks. Gillett won the match in convincing fashion with victories of 25-14, 25-11, and 25-18.

Megan Wolfe's 14 assists led the way for Tiger hitters such as Victoria Loberger who knotched six kills and Faith Sorlie with four.  Willow Pecha led Gillett with six digs.  Wolfe and Sorlie each recorded three aces on the day while teammates Taylor Younker and Erin Balthazor had two each. 

Oneida Nation's Jashon Killspotted earned herself six kills in the contest while Tiara Barber and Tia Moore recorded five each.  Iselena Torres led the team in assists with 10.  Mercedes Ackley's 10 digs also led the Thunderhawks with Laiyah Lee adding four.



Menominee Drops

to Kingsford


The Menominee Maroons hosted the Kingsford Flivvers Tuesday night. Kingsford outlasted Menominee in a five-set thriller to win the match. The Flivvers took game one 25-19 while the Maroons responded by winning game two 25-23. Back-and-forth they went as Kingsford grabbed the lead in game three 25-23 with Menominee tying it up again in game four 26-24. Game five was anyone's game until the Flivvers took over for a 15-11 win.

Jennifer Woods recorded nine kills for the Maroons while teammate Corrina Anderson added eight. Woods and Zoe Smith served up two aces each.



Marines Sunk

by Spartans


The Marinette Marines dropped to 0-3 in the Northeastern Conference Tuesday night after taking on 3-0 the Luxemburg-Casco Spartans. L-C won in a sweep by scores of 25-12, 25-14 and 25-16 over Marinette.

The JV matchups were also won by both Spartan squads. L-C won the JV 1 match 25-14, 25-16 and 25-20 and the JV 2 match 25-11, 25-9 and 25-8



Patriots Split a

Pair of Games


The Patriots of Goodman-Pembine hosted the Phelps Knights and the Laona-Wabeno Rebels Tuesday night. Goodman-Pembine swept Phelps with ease while taking the first game against Laona-Wabeno before falling in three straight.

It took just three sets against the Knights as the Patriots won in a sweep, 25-7, 25-10 and 25-17. Hailey Hilkert lead the way for the Patriots with five kills, three aces and a block. Kirstyn Gardner recorded six aces while Valerie Barribeau added three more.

Patriot Head Coach Ashley Kalkofen said of the win, "We played a pretty solid all around match and got contributions from everyone. I was very pleased with our aggressive approach and we were able to really limit our unforced errors, which have been a struggle so far."

In the nightcap, the Patriots started quickly against the Rebels. Goodman-Pembine took the first set 25-22 but Laona-Wabeno gained momentum in a hurry. The Rebels took the next three sets 25-17, 25-21 and 25-16 to win the match three sets to one.

Hilkert and teammate Rachel Braaten each recorded seven kills and three aces in the match while Barribeau added five kills and two aces.

"We got off to the start we wanted but the final three sets were an up and down effort. Laona-Wabeno did a great job of bringing back balls we thought were winners which can be deflating at times." Coach Kalkofen added, "I was very proud of my girls for extending so many points and we just didn't get enough to go our way. Laona-Wabeno is a well-coached team and seems to be finding their stride."


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