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* Marines Fall Twice in NEC, Oconto Falls Splits Games

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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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M&O VOLLEYBALL - Suring Takes First Title in 32 Years

Peshtigo Takes Tourney

but Suring Wins Title


The M&O Conference volleyball tournament took place Saturday at the Oconto Falls High School.  All ten teams were present for one final showdown featuring the M&O teams.  Suring entered the day with a 9-0 record and earned the number one seed with Peshtigo earning the two seed thanks to an 8-1 record.  Crivitz and Coleman each had a 6-3 record on the season but thanks to a head-to-head win, Crivitz was the three seed and Coleman was four.  Seeds five through ten were Wausaukee, Gillett, Niagara, Lena, Oneida and STAA.

The teams were split into two, five-team pools.  In the pool A was Suring, Coleman, Wausaukee, Lena and STAA.  Pool B matched up the likes of Peshtigo, Crivitz, Gillett, Niagara and Oneida. Suring came out on top with a 4-0 record including four sweeps on the day.  Coleman took second place in pool A with a 3-1 record.  Wausaukee was 2-2, Lena went 1-3 and STAA finished 0-4. 

In pool B, Peshtigo swept all four opponents they faced for a 4-0 record and first place in their pool.  Crivitz came away with second place with a 3-1 record followed by Niagara at 2-2, Gillett at 1-3 and Oneida at 0-4.

The top two teams in each pool advanced to the Gold Bracket tournament.  The third and fourth place teams matched up in the Silver Bracket tournament.  This meant Peshtigo took on Coleman and Suring was matched up with Crivitz in the Gold Bracket.  Peshtigo beat Coleman by scores of 25-13 and 25-20 advancing to the championship.  Suring swept Crivitz in the other semi-final matchup by 25-17 and 25-15 scores. 

The Bulldogs looked to avenge their earlier season loss against the Eagles when Suring won in a sweep.  This time the outcome was much different.  Peshtigo won in convincing fashion over Suring in the championship match up by scores of 25-14 and 25-14 to win their second straight M&O Conference tournament title.  

"The girls did what I asked them to do, stayed focused all day and I think they did it with some dominance.  I was happy with the turn out and the girls were too.  I was very proud of the girls and they were proud of themselves." Peshtigo Coach Robin Gilligan added, ""It was a big confidence boost today, especially the game against Suring.  They realized they can come back from a deficit and win.  They come back from a loss earlier in the season and beat that opponent.  This was a good way to end the day Saturday to come out on top."

"Coming into our match with Peshtigo we had hoped to finish our season undefeated; however, Peshtigo came to play.  They were solid on all fronts of their game and beat us in two," Suring Coach Tonia Kruschke said.

Crivitz bounced back against Coleman in the third and fourth place game, winning by scores of 26-24 and 25-12. Following the M&O points system, Suring claimed the M&O conference championship with 27 points, Peshtigo finished second with 26 points.

"This is the first time in 32 years that Suring has won the conference for volleyball.  This has been our goals since the beginning of the year." Coach Kruschke said of the conference title.  "As a team we took the season one match at a time knowing we needed to stay focused on each and every team that we faced.  We also took that same approach going into the conference tournament on Saturday."

Peshtigo's Claire Neumann tallied up 42 kills on the day along with 10 digs and eight aces.  Ashley Dudka's 85 assists were the most for the Bulldogs as she also had seven digs, four kills and four aces.  Shae Tonn completed an all-around day with 28 kills, 10 aces, and nine digs.  Megan Behnke led the defense with 32 digs.

"Claire [Neumann] had the most kills, Madi [Martin] and Emma [Frederickson] did a solid job all-around, Shae [Tonn] was also a strong outside hitter, Ashley [Dudka], of course, made this all possible with her sets, and Megan [Behnke] all-around solid all the time in the back row.  However, we did it as a team, if we were missing anyone from our team we couldn't have done it."  Coach Gilligan said of her team's performance.

"I am very proud of these young ladies!  They were determined to accomplish this goal and stayed true to what we do as a team.  The Suring community has been so supportive of these young ladies and all they accomplish both on and off the court.  We are looking forward to a successful post season once again focusing on solid fundamentals one game/match at a time," Coach Kruschke said.

In the Silver Bracket, Gillett swept Wausaukee and Niagara beat Lena.  The Silver Bracket finals saw Gillett beat Niagara 25-23 and 25-14.  Gillett finished in fifth place while Niagara took home sixth place.  Wausaukee swept Lena in the seventh and eighth place match, 25-9 and 25-15. 

For the Tigers from Gillett, Willow Pecha paced the net attack with 40 kills, Erin Balthazor added 24 and Faith Sorlie pitched in with 19.  Megan Wolfe led the team with 72 assists and 52 digs.  Balthazor's nine aces were best on the team with Sorlie adding seven.  Sarah Nauke and Victoria Loberger each had four blocks on the day.

Wausaukee's serving was led by Sirina Tyler and Courtney Messar with 13 aces each on the day.  Alexis Ranallo's 32 kills led the Rangers while Messar added 24.  Courtney Hoffeller paced the net defense with 11 blocks and Messar pitched in with six.  Callie Orlando set up hitters all day with 43 assists while Messar led the way with 30 digs.

The final standings of the 2016 M&O conference were as follows: Suring in first, Peshtigo in second, Crivitz in third, Coleman in fourth, Wausaukee and Gillett tied for fifth, Niagara in seventh, Lena in eighth, Oneida in ninth, and STAA in tenth.



STAA Fights Hard but

Falls to Stockbridge


The Saint Thomas Aquinas Academy Cavaliers fell in three to Stockbridge 25-23, 25-21 and 25-7.

Kiana Bulin had 10 digs, while Millie Benson posted six kills, five assists, five aces and six digs. Jacqueline Sporie had eight assists.



Menominee Defeats

Crivitz in Comeback


The Crivitz Wolverines and the Menominee Maroons went blow for blow in a variety volleyball match up Thursday night.

Crivitz struck first surprising the Maroons 25-12 and 25-16 over opening sets. But before the Wolverines could deliver the final kill, Menominee flipped the script taking down the Wolverines 25-15, 25-19 and 15-11 for the win.

Virginia Popp topped the Wolverine kill column with seven. She also had eight digs and one ace. Chloe Gruzynski bagged six kills, six digs, three blocks and one ace. Cece Johnsen did well from behind the service line with five aces and nine digs. Laken Ducaine set her way to a team leading 20 assists, along with her five digs and one ace.



WIAA"Volleyball

Regionals



Gillett Advances in

Playoffs Over Lena


In the division 4 playoffs, the Gillett Tigers earned a 4th seed and had the right to host the 5th seed Lena Wildcats Tuesday night. The Tigers defended their home court in a sweep, 25-23, 25-13, and 25-21.

Gillett's Erin Balthazor led the team with seven aces and Willow Pecha and Megan Wolfe each added four. Victoria Loberger paced the net attack with nine kills, Pecha pitched in with five. Balthazor also earned the most digs for the Tigers with four, Pecha and Faith Sorlie had three each. Wolfe's team-high 16 assists helped control the Tiger net play.

Wildcat Brianna Sylvester had five kills to lead Lena. Kendra Slempkes led the team in aces with five and assists with six. Brooke Peterson's seven digs were tops for the Wildcats.

Gillett will travel to number one seed Bowler in the second round.



Cougars Eliminated

by Rebels


The division 3 volleyball bracket saw the 5-seed Coleman Cougars travel to take on the 4-seed Wabeno/Laona Rebels Tuesday. After the teams split the first two sets, the Rebels outlasted the Cougars in a marathon third set before winning the match in set four. Wabeno/Laona won 3-1 by scores of 18-25, 25-22, 29-27 and 25-18.

Ashlee Mayer played well at the net all night for Coleman as she recorded team highs in kills with 19, aces with five and blocks with two. Mayer also tied Brooklyn Seals with 17 digs a piece for most on the team. Clara Yoap posted 11 assists to top the team. Annabelle Kotecki had a fine all-around match with 12 digs, six kills, an ace and an assist. Mariana Meissner recorded nine digs, nine kills and an assist.



Peshtigo Sends

Freedom Packing


In a battle of 4 and 5 seeds Tuesday, the Peshtigo Bulldogs played host to the Freedom Irish in the division 2 playoffs. The down-to-the-wire match went all five sets before Peshtigo outlasted Freedom to advance. The Bulldogs won 16-25, 25-12, 25-19, 23-25 and 15-8.

"It was quite the battle but the girls stayed focused and knew there was only two options: give it your all or go home. The one, two punch of Claire Neumann and Shae Tonn was too much for their defense to handle." Peshtigo Coach Robin Gilligan added, "Freedom came out strong in game one and their blockers took control, but in the second game the outside hitters turned on their finesse game and found the holes in their defense."

Neumann led the Bulldogs with 13 kills and Tonn was close behind with 11. Neumann, Emma Frederickson and Madi Martin each had six blocks to halt Freedom hitters. Ashley Dudka displayed her pinpoint setting with 25 assists. Megan Behnke continued her back row defensive display with 18 digs while Tonn pitched in with 14.

"Megan Behnke played solid in the back row and Emma Frederickson and Madi Martin played strong at the net. Ashley Dudka was once again the ring leader of the offense and set up the hitters as she has done all season long," said Coach Gilligan.

Peshtigo will travel to Oconto Falls to take on the number one seed Thursday night.



Blue Jays Too

Much for Patriots


Two Northern Lakes schools matched up in the division 4 playoffs Tuesday evening. The third seeded Three Lakes Blue Jays played host to the sixth seed Goodman-Pembine Patriots. Three Lakes won the match in a sweep, 25-20, 25-14 and 26-24.

Rachel Braaten led the Patriots with seven kills, two aces and four blocks while Hailey Hilkert added five kills and one block. Kirstyn Gardner recorded three kills and an ace and Valerie Barribeau pitched in two kills.

"I couldn't be more proud of my girls for their effort tonight. We saved our best for last and unfortunately it just wasn't enough." Patriot Coach John Swick added, "Three Lakes is such a well-coached team and just had a knack for bringing back really tough hits. Both teams played scrappy and it came down to the fact that we just made more unforced errors."



Badgers Bounce

Rangers from Playoffs


The opening round of the division 4 playoffs featured two M&O teams head-to-head. Wausaukee traveled to Niagara as the fifth seeded Rangers took on the fourth seeded Badgers Tuesday night. In sweeping fashion, Niagara won 25-20, 25-21, and 25-23 to advance to the next round.

Niagara's Peyton Aderman piled up 31 digs in the match along with a kill and an ace. Allison Wells recorded 11 kills, eight digs and a block. Jasmine Racine posted a solid all-around day with 13 digs, eight kills and four aces. Abigail McCarthy's 17 assists were tops on the team. Alexandria Gill displayed a strong net game with five blocks and five kills to go along with an ace and two digs.

Rangers Courtney Messar and Bella Manske paced the team with eight kills each and Alexis Ranallo recorded seven. Messar also paved the way for the defense with 12 digs. Ranallo's five aces led the team while Callie Orlando posted 22 assists.

Niagara advances to play at Elcho, the one seed, Thursday night.



Crivitz Opens Post

Season With Win


The Crivitz Wolverines volleyball team open the 2016 post season Monday night with a win, defeating Menominee Indian in three sets, 25-19, 25-14 and 25-7.

"The girls played extremely well tonight," said Crivitz Head Coach Molly Meyers. "It was truly a team effort. I am very proud of how the girls finished strong."

Menominee Indian certainly didn't look like a team that would be defeated in three. In the first set some great serving and quick recoveries helped to bring them within a few points of the Wolverine lead all set long.

But as the match progressed the Wolverines found their rhythm, accelerating the pace of play to complete shutdown Menominee Indian during the third.

The Wolverines were led in the kill column by freshman Emalee Johnsen with nine. She also posted two blocks. Chloe Gruszynski added up six kills, two blocks and one ace while Lisa Cantu and Taylor Bemis both did their part with 10 assist each. Bemis also added up three aces.


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