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Bulldogs Powered by a Tonn of Kills In Regional Win

In the opening round of the WIAA Division 2 volleyball playoffs Tuesday, the seventh-seeded Peshtigo Bulldogs hosted the tenth-seeded Valders Vikings. After dropping the first set and digging a deep hole in game two, the Bulldogs fought back to win three straight sets. Valders' game one win was 25-22, but Peshtigo won the next three 30-28, 25-20 and 25-21, advancing to take on Luxemburg-Casco Thursday.

Both teams came out not wanting to drop the first set. Each battled back-and-forth, never separated by more than three points, until Valders went on an 8-3 run to go ahead 21-15. The Bulldogs tried to come back as kills by Grace Wickman and Madi Martin brought them to within 23-21, but the Vikings closed the game out to win 25-22.

Valders continued that momentum in game two in a big way. Tough serving by Rachel Dietrich and Ashley Lutzke, coupled with pinpoint hitting from Brittany Kenneke, gave the Vikings a commanding 15-4 lead.

"Well, I didn't know what more to tell them. I pretty much got to the point where I said, "seniors, there's no talking out there, you need to step it up, now is your time or it's going to be over in a matter of thirty minutes.' Something clicked with them" they started coming back and getting into a rhythm," Peshtigo coach Robin Gilligan said of the deficit.

Down but not out, Peshtigo answered coach Gilligan's call. Wickman and Emma Frederickson recorded three straight kills, two from Frederickson, to give the Bulldogs some momentum. Peshtigo then won a marathon rally thanks to a hit out of bounds that truly seemed to turn the tide. Shae Tonn slammed a kill to force a Valders timeout, but Wickman came out of the break with two quick aces, bringing the score to 18-16, Vikings. It was then the Tonn show, as the senior seemed to do no wrong, powering a comeback from her team. Tonn drilled a kill down the left side, then placed a set shot perfectly to the opposite side of the net. A Tonn block knotted the score at 22-22 and fellow senior Frederickson gave the Bulldogs their first lead at 23-22. Kenneke tied the game at 23-23 with a kill for Valders, and Tonn answered back with a well-placed bump to regain the lead. It seemed every time Peshtigo gained the lead, Valders responded with a point. The combo off Martin and Falicity Hanson blocked a shot from the Valders hitters for a 28-27 lead, but a serve out tied the game again. Tonn demolished a set that led to a bad pass from the Valders' defense, and a hit out ended the game at 30-28, Peshtigo.

Once again, Peshtigo dug themselves a hole to get out of in game three. Valders won a volley that looked like it may never end, to lead 15-8 and force a Bulldog timeout. Peshtigo then went on to win 8 of the next 9 points, tying the game at 16-16. Three straight points from a kill or block from Tonn gave Peshtigo a 20-17 lead. Tonn then finessed a rolling tip shot over the defense, Wickman followed with a power shot off the blockers, and Maya Ploscynski had a well-placed serve for a 24-18 lead. Frederickson finished the game with a picture-perfect push to the Valders' back corner and a 25-20 game three win.

Peshtigo used their momentum to their advantage. The net-play from the Bulldogs' front line was astounding with kill after kill, and well-timed blocks. Hanson's tip off the blockers, followed by Tonn's hard-hit off the block and tip kill to the "green" area, put the lead to 19-13. Peshtigo closed the game on yet another perfectly placed Tonn kill to the opposite side of the net for a 25-21 win.

When told Tonn likely played the game of her life, coach Gilligan said, "I think she did too and I am so proud of her. She needed this and she really stepped up when we needed her to. She did an awesome job finding the holes all over the court and she mixed it up tremendously."

Tonn piled up a whopping 20 kills on the night, to go along with her team-high 25 digs. Wickman finished with 10 kills and four aces. Frederickson chipped in with twoeight kills and two blocks, Martin led the team with four blocks and five kills.

Talking about her team's serving, coach Gilligan said, "I did comment to them on that: we need to be more aggressive serving. Grace [Wickman] was hitting them right on, I was telling her where to go and she was on target with so many of them tonight.



STAA Falls

In Regional


The St. Thomas Aquinas Cavalier volleyball squad lost their WIAA Regional match against Elcho 25-17, 25-10 and 25-15.

STAA's Alex Pristelski recorded six digs and a block. Halle Beranek got five kills, seven assists and five digs while Millie Benson posted five kills, seven digs, three assists and two aces.

"We're really proud of how the team stayed together and played for each other," said coach Katie Benson. "We learned a lot about each other and in the process continued to get better as a team."



Niagara Takes Regional

Win Over Lena


The Niagara Badgers secured a WIAA Regional playoff victory over the hosting Lena Wildcats Tuesday night 25-23, 17-25, 13-25 and 23-25.

Niagara stats were not reported. Lena was led by Kaylee Huberty with nine kills, seven assists, two digs and one ace. Brianna Sylvester got seven kills, five digs and two aces while Ally Demmith recored six kills, one block, two assists, six digs and three aces.



Crivitz Advances On Post

Season Trail With Win


The Crivitz Wolverine volleyball team looked deadly Tuesday evening as they played host to the Shiocton Chiefs who they handley defeated in three sets 25-16, 25-13 and 25-19.

Though Shiocton held a 12 seed entering this competition they sure didn't play like it. And speaking of unreliable seeding, the Wolverines, who went undefeated in conference play, taking the championship to boot, was slotted a five seed. One might say chip on the shoulder and Crivitz head coach Molly Meyers had to agree, "We are definitely playing with a chip on our shoulder and I am definitely coaching with one."

"Tournaments are always exciting," said Meyers. "This group of girls is just so fun to coach. They have always wanted to do well and that's all I've wanted. Shiocton is a great team, they don't let a lot get by them, number nine was a strong hitter and they really made our girls work hard tonight."

The first set was close for a while. The Wolverines got a little behind and met the Shiocton girls at ten points, after which they kicked it into gear, ending the match on a block by Kieren Gribben.

"Our girls blocked well and so did Shiocton," said Meyers. "It was something we really worked on this week. Over the season we didn't always get a chance to face teams that had blocking like this. If we have Amherst next we will have to really cover well."

The second set began much the same way as the two teams fought for postion before an Emalee Johnsen block made it 11-11. Taking control of the serving was Taylor Bemis and she surely did not disappoint as he led her team to a 20-11 lead, thanks to some excellent blocking by the girls up front. Taylor Kaldenberg served up the final point for a two set lead.

"We started off slow," said Meyers. "But Taylor Bemis' serves made a huge difference. She has a wicked serve, I know because I've played against it. I'm just so proud of this girls."

Again the teams found themselves knotted up around ten points, but after some accurate serves from Abby Barley and some excellent corner kills by Chloe Gruszynski, the Wolverines were able cruise out to a 25-19 win.



Gillett Upsets Suring

in WIAA Regional


Tuesday evening two M&O teams matched up in the opening round of the Division 4 regional as the Gillett Tigers traveled to take on the Suring Eagles. Even though the Tigers were the lower seed, Gillett edged Suring in five games, 25-15, 25-13, 20-25, 22-25 and 15-11.

Gillett's Megan Wolfe piled up 18 assists, 14 digs, six kills and five aces. Willow Pecha recorded 10 kills, 17 digs and two aces, while Sophia Horsens finished with 14 assists, five kills six digs, two aces and a block.

Nikki Niemann finished with 10 kills, 15 digs, and three aces for the Eagles. Wylee VanBellinger recorded 18 digs, while teammate Jazmine Chesterfield had eight kills. Jadyn Stuart had 14 assists on the night.



Seymour Brings

Thunder on Marinette


The 14th-seeded Marinette Marines took to the road Tuesday in the Division 2 WIAA volleyball playoffs, to take on the third-seeded Seymour Thunder. It was a tough matchup for the Marines that ended in a sweep for Seymour, 25-9, 25-4 and 25-6.

In the contest, Marinette's Maddie Mielke recorded five kills, Jordan Boetcher added four and Tatum Ihde finished with three. Katie Craver led the team with 17 digs, Athena Cross had 14, Lily Pomplun recorded 13 and Brooke Bayerl finished with 10.



Rangers Advance

with Sweep of Patriots


Tuesday night in Division 4 WIAA regional play, the Wausaukee Rangers hosted the Goodman-Pembine Patriots. Wausaukee took all three sets by similar scores of 25-13, 25-14 and 25-13, advancing to take on Elcho in the next round.

Courtney Messar and Kaelyn Schlies paced the Rangers with nine kills apiece, while Bella Manske had seven and Kylee Smith smacked six. Sirina Tyler recorded seven aces with pinpoint serving, while Callie Orlando led Wausaukee with 27 assists.

Rachel Braaten finished with seven blocks and six kills for the Patriots. Katelyn Nelson had eight kills, and Kirstyn Garner finished with seven kills.

"It was more of the same for us tonight. We were able to extend some points and then unforced errors kept us from getting anything going. Wausaukee did a great job of bringing some well-placed balls back and just played a more efficient match," said Patriot coach John Swick.

"I couldn't be more proud of an outstanding group of young ladies that gave their all in every match and never gave up. They have set a great example for the girls that will follow," said coach Swick.



Wolverines Finish

Conference Unbeaten  
 

Thursday evening, the Crivitz Wolverines capped off a conference championship season with a pair of sweeps over the Coleman Cougars and the Suring Eagles.  Crivitz won 3-0 over the host, Suring, and followed it up by a 3-0 victory over Coleman.  In the nightcap, Suring swept Coleman 3-0.  The wins give the Wolverines a perfect 16-0 record in the M&O Conference. "I am extremely proud of our team.  We have put a lot of time in during the offseason and also during the season to accomplish our number one goal this year of winning the conference title.  Every game, different girls stepped up when we needed them to.  I feel they are a true "team'.  They have been a pleasure to coach and I am very happy for them.  They deserve this title," said Crivitz coach Molly Meyers.

"We enjoyed our title last night with a police and fire truck escort in to town and a little rally for them at the high school.  It was a lot of fun and we appreciate the fan support that we got last night and throughout the season.  We now move on to our next goal of doing well in the tournament, starting Tuesday against Shiocton," added Coach Meyers.     



Bobcats Take

Down Patriots


In a Northern Lakes Conference matchup, the Goodman-Pembine Patriots faced off against the Florence Bobcats.  Florence took home a 3-0 sweep at the end of the night, by scores of 25-15, 25-22 and 25-14.

"I really felt we played a very solid match tonight. It felt a lot closer than the scores show. Florence proved time and again why they are a number one seeded team. They don't beat themselves. We got caught in a couple difficult serve receive rotations that hurt us in each set. Dropping that second set kind of took the wind out of us a little bit," said Patriots' coach John Swick.

Coach Swick added of his players, "I was so proud of how the girls responded on a difficult night with it being parents' night and seven seniors on the roster."

Rachel Braaten finished with seven kills and five blocks for the Patriots, while teammate Katelyn Nelson added five kills.



Marines Can't

Cage Tigers


Thursday, the Marinette Marines played host to the Wrightstown Tigers to the P.F. Neverman Gym. Wrightstown went on to sweep the Marines in three sets, by scores of 25-16, 25-6 and 25-12.

Emma Erickson recorded three kills for the Marines and Ciara Grawey added two. Katie Craver led the way with eight digs, Lily Pomplun pitched in seven and Erickson and Brookelyn Peterson each had six.

Gillett Takes

Triangular Win


The Gillett Tigers joined the Niagara Badgers and the Lena Wildcats for a season ending Triangular that saw the Tigers victorious 2-0. Gillett beat Niagara 25-13, 25-18, 22-25, 14-25 and 15-12 while later defeating the Wildcats 25-15, 25-20 and 25-18. Niagara took down Lean 25-20, 25-22 and 25-16.

Niagara was led by Jasmine Racine with 20 kills, one block, 24 digs, 14 assists and four aces. Cassie gille posted 12 kills, five blocks, three digs and one assist. Allison Wells got nine kills, 15 digs and one block.

Gillett was led by Sophia Horsens with 20 kills, 18 assists, six aces, one block and eight digs. Faith Sorlie got 16 kills, two assists, one ace, five blocks and 19 digs while Willow Pecha recorded 16 kills, three assists, two aces and 17 digs.

Lena was led by Ally Demmith with 12 kills, one block, three aces and 10 digs while Brianna Sylvester got seven kills, three aces and six digs.



Wausaukee Ends Season

With Triangular Win


The Wausaukee Ranger volleyball squad ended their season strong with a 2-0 win in a triangular hosted by Oneida Nation.

Wausaukee defeated the Thunderhawks 13-25, 25-22, 25-21 and 25-20 after which they took down STAA 25-9, 25-15, 20-25 and 25-9.

Leading the Rangers was Courtney Messar with 20 kills, 25 digs and eight aces. Bella Manske got 17 kills and two digs while Kaelyn Schlies posted 16 kills.

Oneida Nation and STAA stats were not received.


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